The Distortion of Normalcy[Icicle//Adelaid Belial]

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Icicle, Jan 4, 2015.

?

Would you like to roleplay with one of us?

  1. Icicle is pretty chill...

  2. Belial is fair and swell...

  3. No thanks, fare thee well!

  4. I SHALL DEVOUR YOUR SOULS!!!

  5. I like being indecicive........but friends are nice...

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  1. The heavy breathing and splashing of puddles resounded through the empty city street as a boy sprinted along the sidewalk, a look of terror across his face. He was wearing a black hoodie, with the hood pulled over his head, and was wearing a wireless headset, which was set to its noise-cancelling setting. The boy was wearing cargo shorts, but all of his pockets were empty, and in his hand was a short, stout metal pipe with a few drops of wet, red material on it.

    The boy hastily pulled his left sleeve up, still looking around, then quickly peeked down as he ran. "There's no way," he gasped. "1509" was written in minuscule numbers on the small, LED screen. "I'll never make it!"

    As he turned a corner, he noticed that the street up ahead was busy. "WHAT?" he gasped, fear and shock filling his chest, "HOW?" It was the exact place he just came from, but mirrored! The boy continued running, speeding up in his shock. "No, I can't stop! I have to..." he gasped, then he turned the corner, looking behind himself to make sure he wasn't followed, and immediately continued sprinting forwards.

    He heard a quick squeal in front of him, then shot his attention forwards as he tried slowing down. He noticed a girl about his height and age wearing black and pulled his pipe back, raising his off-hand up to try to gently get the lady out of his way. His expression of fear was still on his face, but he was too focused to speak. He merely thought the words, "I have to run faster or I'll never get back to my home in time!" as he brushed past the girl, then immediately sped up, swinging his arms faster to counteract his more aggressive pace.

    The boy ran down the street until he reached the cross signal, then turned the corner and continued sprinting once more. There were more pedestrians, but he was now paying more attention to them, having brushed past the girl. He continued sprinting along, hoping that he would be fast enough. After a few feet, he checked his watch again..."1509"

    -The next day-

    The boy woke up in a small room and looked around in surprise. He turned off his headset and checked the battery before taking a closer look around the room. "Darn, almost out." he observed, putting the headset back on and resuming the noise-cancelling function. He looked around, searching for the charger for his headphones.

    After unearthing a few books, scattered clothes, and empty backpacks, the boy finally found his charger. He plugged it into the wall, but thoroughly searched the room for other people before taking his headset off again. "All clear," he commented, turning his headphones off. Immediately, he was assaulted with the sound of pounding on his door and loud honking noises from outside. "S-Sorry, just a second!" he shouted, rushing over to his charger.

    After a few lectures from his landlady, the boy left the building and quickly rushed over to his favorite early morning food store - McDonalds. He found his wallet in one of his many pockets, the one he always stored valuables in, and offered the cashier an exchange. "Two pancake meals, please!" he asked, "and I'm in a rush!" The cashier gleefully took his money and offered him a receipt so that he could get his food once it was ready, saying "Thank you, have a nice day!" then switched tasks to talk to the next person in line without a second thought.

    The boy was satisfied with his exchange once he received his food, but he was not able to eat it in the McDonald's building. He quickly shoved the food into a bag and sprinted out the door, running back to his apartment. Once he was inside his room once more, he checked on his headset, and was surprised to find that the battery was only half full. "Well, it'll have to do for now."

    He unplugged the headset, put it around his neck, and shoved the charger into his pocket as hastily as he could. He then sprinted back out of his apartment, breathing heavily from all of his activity. After locking the door, he ran down the two flights of stairs to street-level and rushed out the door.

    Once he reached the sidewalk, he reached into his pocket with his free hand and pulled out a slip of paper. "I can't trust him........I know I can't...." the boy commented, staring intensely at the paper. "Bryerwood Academy - 1245 Elysium Ave" was written on the paper in a sloppy cursive. He soon noticed a man staring at him, and quickly apologized to the man before running off towards his destination.

    He continued to run up until he reached the first necessary crosswalk, then eagerly waited for the light to change. His impatience was visually apparent as he shifted from side to side, occasionally looking around at other people as if he was being chased. When the light finally turned green, he attempted to look somewhat less suspicious by speedwalking across the street, but immediately started running again once he reached the other side.


    He continued this process for the next ten minutes until he crossed onto Elysium Avenue. "Certainly would have thought that it'd be more fancy with a name like that," he thought, looking down the street. It was a street in a residential district, so the lots were expensive, but had plenty of space. He could almost see ahead far further than he could in the section of the city near his apartment. In fact, he was certain that he could see a large group of trees in the distance, which was slightly unnerving to him.

    He kept his nose in the sheet of paper between sudden bursts of suspicion and looking around, and kept walking along the sidewalk towards his destination. "He's probably scheming something." Once he reached 1243, he looked up ahead to the next lot down the street to see what kind of place he was directed to.


    "What? A school? Why?" He had to walk around the perimeter of the brick wall surrounding the large perimeter of the school, then walked in through the designated entrance. There was a rather large front section, with a nice pathway leading up to the school, paved with a smooth concrete and covered, in some sections, with large mirror-panels. He almost felt as if he was walking towards a science lab.

    Once he reached the entrance to the school building, he opened the door and was immediately assaulted by a gust of warm air. He jumped back out of the doorway, but immediately regained his composure and continued walking, feeling a blush on his face. He looked around for a few seconds in the huge first room, attempting to memorize the layout in a short span of time.

    With the vast number of windows, the gigantic staircase in the middle of the room, and the wide array of study areas, Niko was not sure that the room he was in was part of a school any more. "More like a university," he commented, making his way towards a directory board on a bulletin a few feet across from the entryway.

    After finding the location of the administrators of the building, he started to wander around in search of the aforesaid room. Despite its architecture, the building was well designed and rather easy to navigate through, as Niko quickly found the nameplates and room numbers as he walked around. He also noticed that there were a great many windows everywhere, and few undecorated walls. He did not particularly like the large number of windows, but the natural light was very refreshing, compared to his apartment.


    Once he reached the administrator's office, he knocked on the door a few times. "It's unlocked, come in!" shouted a strong female voice from the other side, her tone professional yet friendly. Niko turned the handle and walked into the room to find a very neatly-organized and clean waiting room, with sofas on either side of the door and between doors around the room, with various tables in front of each chair, housing magazines, classic books, plants, and even a few puzzle objects.

    Niko couldn't help but look around for a few seconds after entering the room, allowing the door to shut behind him. The lady who called him in looked up from her desk in the room ahead and suddenly looked concerned. "Is something the matter?" after realizing that she did not recognize the boy, her expression became much more friendly and she immediately continued, "Oh! You're Niko, aren't you? Welcome to Bryerwood Academy, please come and sit down! I have many things to tell you."

    Niko, feeling much more like a sheep than a student, obeyed the lady, his expression of confusion and reluctance growing stronger by the second. He continued to listen to the lady as she talked to him, answering her seemingly pointless questions as she asked them and accepting various gifts from her, such as a notepad, and a student handbook.


    Niko felt as if he was being interrogated at one point, but the lady did a very good job of appearing friendly and providing information about the building and why he was there. All the same, the boy was thoroughly confused by the time the lady was finished talking, mostly due to his own thoughts. The lady ignored Niko's expression and, at long last, said, "My apologies for talking for so long, I really love to meet new students! Your schedule is already printed on the first page of your student handbook, so please go to your first period class now! I will tell your teacher of your arrival. And...don't forget, you need to start wearing the uniform you ordered...that outfit simply will not do."

    Niko hastily made his way to the door as the lady was talking, almost ignoring what she said. He then rushed back over to the directory and looked for the second period class on his schedule. "Hrm, "Advanced Art 1" eh? Why?..." he thought, making his way over to the large staircase. There were only a few other students wandering around, most likely as a result of the start of the next class. Niko was glad that there weren't many people there to obstruct his view, as he was still trying to get a grasp of the layout of the school.


    As he reached the classroom, he frowned, his eyes filled with uncertainty. He cautiously opened the door, and was immediately greeted with the sounds of pencils on paper. "Ah, he's here! All right class, eyes over here!" a rather rugged-looking man in the back declared, rising from his desk, "the person in the doorway is a transfer student from New York. Please make him feel at home here at Bryerwood!" The teacher paused for a moment, then looked over at Niko and hesitantly asked, "Would you like to introduce yourself?"

    Niko stared at the teacher in disbelief for a few seconds, then looked around at the other people in smocks. He felt butterflies in his chest and his face went pale, but he mustered the courage to mutter, "Y-Yeah, umm, h-hi. I'm new here. Hope I don't get in the way..." then quickly started to walk back towards the door.


    The teacher noticed this and quickly walked towards him. "Oh come on, don't be a stranger! Go ahead and join us. You took a few art classes before, right?"

    Niko frowned, his uncertainty still plastered across his face as he started to speak. "N-uhh, i-is that what the administrator lady said?"

    The teacher chuckled a little after hearing Niko's question, missing the boy's increased confusion as he did so, "well, to get into advanced art, you needed to pass beginning art first! I just wanted to know if you had experience drawing still lifes."

    Niko looked around at the students, who were now focused on drawing once more, some more hurredly than others. He noticed that they all had multiple pencils and erasers, and there were piles of objects in certain places around the room which they directed their attention to. They sat in stools instead of desks, and some even drew on easels which were set up next to themselves.


    The boy nodded briefly to the teacher, determining that going with his backstory was the best option at that moment, then looked over to see the teacher bending down and picking a shirt out of a basket on the floor. "Well then, get your supplies and get drawing! Try adding as much detail as you can, and ask me if you need help."

    Niko put the shirt on over his, noting that that was what the other students did, then picked random pencils and erasers from a box on a shelf of art supplies, which was next to the basket of extra shirts. He set up a position in the middle of the room, somewhat nearby a few other students, and started drawing a random arrangement of fruits.

    He started scribbling furiously on the paper, attempting to capture the shading of the piece without first sketching it out, and, by the end of class, had captured the apples the cluster of grapes with almost perfect accuracy, then began to shade the face of the platform they were positioned on as well. Once the bell rang, the teacher called, "Same thing on Thursday class, take your easels to the corner of the room and stack your sketches on my desk."

    Niko obeyed the teacher's instructions, then put the extra shirt back in the basket and stared at his schedule for a few seconds. "And just what room is lunch supposed to be in?..." he grumbled to himself, placing his notebook back in the bag with his pancake meals. He determined that someone had heard him, and quickly looked around with a nervous expression until he spotted a girl who happened to be looking at him. He became even more nervous as he recognized her face, and backed up a step, as if to start leaving the classroom.
     
  2. The day before, Noelle had been nothing if not worried, tomorrow was the beginning of their still life project, and her pencils had decided they all wanted to break or mess up. To add to that, she had also broken her only ink cartridge for her computer, making her Creative Writing paper mess up all the while also making her have to fix her entire printer. She had been carrying it through downtown, which probably wasn't the best idea, sometimes the rush hours were way too large to try and get past with something heavy in your arms. She had met up with some friends and taken a break at her favorite cafe and coffee house, and lost track of time on the way.

    In a rush, she had to run, with a printer in her hands, to go and get it fixed, she been running so fast to get to the art store to fix it, that maybe she had become careless. She had turned the corner when all of the sudden. Baam~! she felt a pressure in her chest as the printer collided with her breasts. She fell back too, dropping her printer, her drawing satchel, her papers, materials....everything. She almost cursed, quickly grabbing her materials in her hands and putting them into the bag. "I'm so sorry, I didn't see you!! Are you okay-" The one who ran into her was no older than herself from the looks of it, his eyes looked so scared.

    He quickly helped her gather her materials, and paper, handing them to her, and ran off, looking like he'd never been into a city before, artfully dodging the people in his way. Noelle didn't get off the ground right away, still contemplating her strange encounter. "Was he...okay?" She wondered if she had scared him, maybe hurt him somehow. Even though she was the once on the ground, bruised by her own printer. 'I feel kind of bad, I hope he wasn't hurt or anything.....' She sighed, sitting there until another person asked if she needed help. She quickly jumped up, Her printer was even more ruined. She sighed, picked it up, went to the store, and got it fixed. As well as using the rest of her allowance to buy more materials.

    She headed back to her dorm room. Her parents said that she could handle living in her own place. So they bought her a dorm at her new school, Bryerwood Academy. She realized that she had almost missed curfew as well. Her crazy day had almost gotten her in big trouble. But not as much as that boy from before...she decided, remembering the terrified look she had seen on his face as he left. She hoped that tomorrow would be better. If only because she needed to hope that.

    The Next Day.

    She had actually managed to get up pretty well, she didn't have roommate because they dropped out sometime before, so she was alone in the mornings, which was also a good thing. She quickly printed out her Creative Writing paper, and placed it into her backpack, placed her satchel on her arm and left, heading to the cafeteria. She sat with her friends. "Hey, Noelle! How are you! Did you get your printer fixed?" Noelle nodded, "I almost hurt someone I think..." Her friends laughed and joked about how she would never be able to do something like that. She laughed with them, though she hardly shared their comfort for almost hurting someone. When the bell rang for first block, she was almost happy to leave.

    Her Digital Art class passed by without care really, they were told to make a free project that would be due he next morning. She decided that she would draw out her OC monster, Dudley. That is what she thought about through most of second block until they were told to finally start on their Still Life. She had taken out all the ink pens from her satchel, as well as all of her pencils of varying widths. This was going to be perfect. She had drawn nearly seven of the objects and the table they rested on when she herd the teachers voice talking to someone. She didn't look up at first but the noise of the student sounded very familiar. After finishing her Still Life, a bit before everyone else. She decided to try and find the voice of the new kid. But she found so much more.

    It was the young man from yesterday, the one who had run off. Noelle found herself staring at him. How did he get into this class? Was he supposed to be here. Maybe it was more than coincidence-....No! He's just a kid who transferred to Bryerwood. No need for crazy conspiracies. Still..... She constantly looked over to him, he looked very focussed in his art. Maybe he was just normal.... She heard the bell ring, interrupting previous thought. Many people let out a groan of disappointment, especially since most of them hadn't finished. Noelle laughed slightly, some of her friends came over to her to complain. "Noelle~...Did you finish? I couldn't get the fabric on the table right!" Noelle absent-mindedly nodded, she was still looking to find the boy from before. He had looked rightly confused, she wanted to make sure he was okay.

    "Noelle are you listening? Who are you looking for-" at that moment, the boy turned at saw her looking at him. She looked away, her face burning with embarrassment. "Why were you looking at that boy, Noelle? Do you like the new kid?" She sighed, "No, C'mon, we've got lunch." She prayed he didn't think she was weird, she just wanted to make sure he was okay! She didn't like him or anything! She didn't know him! Not like he wasn't attractive or anything but- No, she just didn't like him! She walked quickly to lunch with her head down. She would catch him at lunch and explain everything then.......If he could make it to lunch, she heard him saying he didn't know....
     
    #2 Adelaide Belial, Jan 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2015
  3. As Niko watched, the girl from the previous day turned and quickly left the room with a friend, as if giving him permission to stop thinking about her. Niko hastily left out the other door of the classroom and ran to the stairs, nimbly weaving his way through the crowds of teenagers. At one point, they were all bunched up and he was unable to quickly get by. He looked over the railing of the staircase, as if planning something, but the crowd let up as soon as he did, so he continued hastily making his way back to the directory.

    "I've seen you looking at that board a lot today, newcomer." A harsh, husky voice commented as a boy entered through the doors behind Niko. He spun around, and immediately started backing away towards the billboard, intimidated by the figure's size. "If you need help finding a room, ask someone. Don't be a stranger!" The large boy then chuckled and started walking away, Niko staring at him with an expression somwehere between terror and shock. "I have no reason to be reacting this way, I need to get to this lunch room quickly."


    Niko searched through the directory, then found the cafeteria. Quickly, he ran through a hallway, barely avoiding a few people precariously holding large stacks of paper on his way to his destination. After a minute, he found a large set of double doors leading to a room which was "loud, to say the least." Niko walked into the room and looked around, trying to figure out how this "lunch" worked. He fought the urge to ask someone, and walked over to the far wall, searching for an isolated area. Eventually, he chanced upon a table which was more or less empty and attempted to sit down.

    Upon trying to take a seat, a girl instantly shot a look over to him and commented, "Hold on there, hot shot. These seats are saved." Niko jumped back and immediately started walking away quickly, assuming that the girl was hostile. After searching around for a few more minutes, A group of people left a table empty and Niko reluctantly sat down at the table. "I'm going to have to find a way to..." He stopped his thoughts and looked around, sensing something. After a few second, he heard laughter and looked in the direction of the laughter to see a few people pointing at him as they laughed.

    Niko frowned, then turned back around and started to open his pancake meals from McDonalds. He silently began to eat the meals, ignoring the syrup in order to more cleanly devour the food. He got all the way through his first meal before looking around again, then opened his second meal and started to eat.


    Before even finishing his second meal, he decided to leave the loud room, unwilling to put up with all of the chatter.
     
    #3 Icicle, Jan 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  4. Noelle saw him again in the lunch room, looking about as lost as he had before in the classroom. She looked over to her friends, "Don't you think, he'd like someone to sit with?" she offered, pointing inconspicuously in his direction. "Is that the boy you were eyeing in class, Noelle, you dog! You want to sit with him. You've hardly introduced yourself." Noelle suppressed a sound of irritation, "No, I don't like him! I-.....I don't like him!" Her friends laughed over it, not truly believing her, "Go and bring him over here. If he wants to come, we'll let him sit over here. Right beside you." her friend, Sara patted the seat beside Noelle. Noelle quickly got up, walking over to the table as quickly as she could to ignore her friends calls of her. He was just about to leave.

    "Excuse me.....Can I sit with you?" she had brought her lunch with her, it would be a minefield if she let him sit with her friends. she was a bit worried about his response, taking the somewhat stiff air around him. She sat one seat away from him, giving hi room to walk away if he wanted, "You don't have to talk to me, if you don't want, I just wanted a place to sit, my friends were beings a bit....insufferable."
     
  5. As if confronted by an enormous monster, Niko nearly jumped out of his seat when he heard a girl's voice behind him. He quickly turned around to see who was speaking, and was shocked to see the girl from earlier. He was genuinely shocked. "I suppose I misjudged her," Niko thougt, poorly attempting to hide his terror. He continued staring at the girl in silence for a few seconds after she spoke, unsure of how to respond. "I-I think so," Niko commented, continuing to stare at her as she sat down.

    Niko could remember every detail from the previous day as he looked down to grab a meat patty from his pancake meal - when he encountered her, what he did, and what happened afterwards, most specifically. He shivered at the recollection. His face grew more pale. He ate the patty of mean, then looked up at the girl again as she started to speak, almost startled. "Why s-sit here? Didn't I hurt you?" he asked, his tone expressing more confusion than genuine intrigue. He looked down at his food a few seconds later, as if ashamed by his question. "S-sorry about that, by the way."

    He continued to eat, however, his eating was now much more cautious, as if he was preparing for the girl or one of her friends to jump at him with a plastic knife at any moment. He looked up at her, sneaking a glance over to a few of the other tables, his nervousness rising every second.
     
    #5 Icicle, Jan 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  6. Noelle laughed awkwardly, "No, you didn't hurt me at all. My broken printer did." She was rather surprised that he thought he hurt her at all, considering how fast he ran off. "I actually thought that maybe I had hurt you somehow......" She sighed, remembering the encounter, some of the details had caught her attention more than anything. Namely the face of terror he somehow managed to wear even now, and well...He might've been in a fight. "Say.....you looked pretty shaken up when we ran into each other...I know it's not my business, but were you in an altercation with some bad people?" She didn't want to say fight. He'd probably get defensive.

    Come to think of it, she really shouldn't have asked him that, "Nevermind that question, actually... How are you liking it at Bryerwood so far? I didn't know you went to my school hen I ran into you. " She chuckled as she looked over her food, a small square slice of pepperoni pizza, some fries, and a bowl of cantaloupe. Not much to have a conversation over. He on the other hand was consuming food from....Mcdonald's? 'How'd he manage to sneak that food in the building?' she smiled, Bryerwood had a strict "School Food Only" policy. If you had food from outside the school, you were forced to throw it away.

    She noted the apprehensive look he was still giving all the other students. 'I've never seen someone so scared of a school before.....Maybe he was homeschooled before and all the people are giving him an anxiety attack....' She felt bad for him, refusing to feel sorry for him and voice it. Though she had always had Sara, Danny and Deedee, she oftentimes del scared of people too, she wanted to help.... She didn't know how to help, but she wanted to.
     
  7. [Interruptable]

    Niko barely listened to the girl as she made her first two points, too busy looking around and eating. As she started asking him a question, Niko started to focus on her more than the people behind her, wondering why she was still there. "Wait, does she..." He stopped eating as the girl paused, his discomfort at the question clearly visible from his expression. He stared at the girl for a few seconds, but she started talking before he could respond, causing him to quickly look around again to break the tension.


    By the time she was done asking her second question, Niko shoved the last bit of pancake into his mouth and shoved the first box of pancake container into the second, compacting the near-empty containers so that they were easier to carry. He rose from the chair, then started to walk away without a single word. He looked back at the girl nervously, as if scared that she would follow him, then hastily started walking over to the entrance. "There has to be a connection..." he thought, shoving the trash into the trash bin, "...they have to have a reason, but..."

    He kept the plastic bag so that he could keep his free materials in one, easy to carry spot, then left the room and made his way back to the directory, careful to look around for people so that he wouldn't be surprised again. After searching through the list once more, he found the next class. Thinking ahead, he also found the class after next, and wrote the room number for that class on his notebook, so that he wouldn't forget. He then immediately started making his way towards his next class, Creative Writing. Without a thought, he rushed back up the stairs, the bell ringing soon afterwards. Niko looked around to find the source of the noise, but it appeared to be coming from everywhere, so he continued on his way, trying to surpress his confusion and nervousness as he passed by groups of kids.

    As he reached the creative writing class, he got exactly the same greeting, except that the teacher of this class, a slender woman who was dressed for a blizzard, asked him to sit down, then stand up once the class had begun and introduce himself...
     
  8. Noelle had to admit, it sort of hurt that the boy left while they were sitting together. She hadn't expected him to stay of course, they hardly knew each other, but she had wished he'd at least try to pursue a conversation with someone who tried to talk to him. She huffed, angry more at herself for scaring him off than anything. She should have waited for him to say something before going off with sixteen different questions. Especially the question as to why he was so shaken up and covered in blood. Cursing her failed attempt, she trekked back to her own table. Sitting with a plastered smile beside Sara once more.

    "You strike out, kiddo?" Deedee smirked, stuffing fires from Danny's plate in her mouth. Her question had caught Noelle out of the funk she had trapped herself in somewhat. "No, Deedee, I didn't strike out. I wasn't trying to flirt, I-" Deedee put up a hand to Noelle's mouth, signaling for her to wait, "Well, of course you weren't trying to flirt. Not like that I hope." Noelle sighed, bracing herself for the well-intended debate about flirting, 'What is it with these guys and not getting what I'm saying recently? I just want to make sure that weird kid is okay.....What, did I say weird? I didn't mean that, I meant odd! He's not weird, just awkward, just uncomfortable just....really weird.' Noelle brought one hand up to the side of her forehead to rub her temples.

    Noelle was only half-listening to Deedee and Sara argue back and forth about the perfect way to flirt with a guy, whether being aggressive was a key factor, when the bell ring. She thanked the power higher than herself and went on her way quickly to go on to Creative Writing. However she could not escape Deedee, who shared the class with her after failing the previous year. They walked, Deedee still chiding about the mysterious boy, whom she now dubbed, "The Boy." "What do you like about him anyways, Noelle? He's sort of jumpy, and a loner....I mean, I know you go for that type-"
    "This is not a type thing. Dee~! I don't like him! I almost ran him over yesterday with my printer!"

    Deedee stared at her like she had just said some miracle word, "Oh yeah, did you get your paper printed out?" Noelle smacked her forehead with as much force as she could muster, though she tried to recant it later. "Yes. Dee, I got my paper printed out, I'm glad you remember me saying that now-" Deedee grabbed Noelle's arm tightly, forcing her to stop in front of the door for the Creative Writing classroom. "What, why are you stopping me? What need to be in class, Dee I told you I'm not skipping-"
    "It's The Boy."
    "What boy-"Noelle's eyes darted into the classroom, inspecting every face in the room as quick as possible util she could see the familiar blonde hair and green eyes that looked terrified to be there. "Oh crap." she whispered, beginning to walk in class with her hand covering her face as to avoid him. "Is he stalking you or something? That's love if I've ever-"
    "Dee! What kind of mixed up ideas of love do you have? We're just in the same class!"
    "Well, why are you hiding your face and whispering then?"

    Noelle paused somewhat, "...B-because I scared the life out of him before, like three times!! I don't want to make him more suspicious or scared, or hateful of me than he already is! I'm just going to leave him alone now, obviously some higher power than myself has told me that we are not meant to be friends." She moved to a seat and sat down, Deedee sitting in the desk across the row beside her, "If that was the case, would that power really have given you the same schedule?" Noelle was about to retort when the teacher, Miss Hardwell, spoke up, talking to him, most probably.....she told him to introduce himself to the class.

    Noelle felt a smile tug at the end of her lips, she would be lying if she said that she wasn't interested in knowing more about the boy who had gotten blood spatter on her favorite cardigan.
     
  9. Niko frowned as he stood up, this time being truly nervous. “They expect something,” he thought, clearing his throat before speaking. “Hello everyone. I’m Niko," he started, looking around at everyone's face as he spoke, "I'm not from around here, and I promise that I'll stay out of your way." He then plopped back down in his seat and waited for everyone to turn their attention back to the teacher.

    The teacher sighed, hoping that Niko would be more willing to talk, but surprise wasn't an accurate description of her expression. She rose from her desk and declared, "Papers up front. For the next two classes we'll be splitting into groups and making flash fiction to reinforce the concepts of..." The teacher then continued talking about the objectives of that class, which were fairly general. Niko frowned, despising the concept of working with another person, let alone a group. "...Groups will be made up of two or three people, and each member is expected to be involved equally in the project. I'll now assign groups..."

    Niko continued becoming more and more nervous as the teacher wrote on the board, imagining the voices of other students in his head as he looked around. Their faces might as well have announced their suspicion and curiosity about him, under the thick layer of fake welcoming. Niko couldn't see any openly hostile people in the class, which reassured him to some degree. Isolation was preferable. Still, he didn't appreciate the attention, as his slouching clearly showed.


    "Group seven, Niko, Deedee, and Noelle. Group eight...Alright, each group gets one laptop and the entire group is responsible for saving progress. You're free to use the rest of this period for your group work, and are dismissed from class. Come see me if you have questions. The rubric is on the portal."
    Niko looked around, his expression somewhat lighter than before. He had no idea who the two other people in his group were, but it was clear that the teacher expected him to interact with them. With a sigh of displeasure, Niko rose from his desk, still looking for his partners. After most of the other students left, he discovered that the girl from lunch and one of the girls whom she declared to be her 'fried' were still in the room, both of whom looked over at him every now and then.

    He looked back up at the chalk board to ensure that he knew their names, then walked over to them. "Are you two Noelle and Deedee?" he asked, his tone cautious and respectful and his approach even more so.
     
  10. So Noelle now had a name for the mysterious boy, "Niko..." she whispered, he didn't seem like a Niko, but whatever, it wasn't her business. Noelle turned to Deedee, who was watching the boy like a hawk. A hawk who had some stupid plan in her head, "The teacher's giving us groups for our next assignment to today." Noelle said, shaking her friend's shoulder. Deedee, nodded, hardly looking over at her, "He doesn't talk much, that boy......he's going to be so interesting." she smiled, making Noelle mentally groan. 'So she hasn't yet given up on those fantastical ideas of hers.....Great, that's going to be something to deal with-'
    "Group seven, Niko, Deedee, and Noelle, Group eight....."

    Noelle turned to the teacher, did she just say what she thought she said? She was now in the mysterious boy's group? They would have to work together now, on a project? She had just decided to leave him alone, and give up on trying to figure out about him. They would be in a group! Noelle, on one side, would now be able to actually try and get a grip on this dude and his weird antics, whatever was making him so jumpy all the time. On the other side, she knows for a fact the boy isn't much of a talker, so their group would just consist of herself and Deedee being awkward and totally misreading the situation. She suppressed the urge to grasp her face and groan loudly. She looked back over in the boy, now Niko's direction, he had once again met her gaze, making her look away.

    "He's coming over here~!" Deedee whispered excitedly, shaking Noelle's arm, "What? Do you like him now, Dee?" she joked, to which her older friend simply punched her in the gut. Noelle sighed, turning to the direction where she had last seen Niko, only to find him standing right there. "Are you two Noelle and Deedee?" Noelle nearly jumped from her seat, she almost couldn't speak, but Deedee had her covered. "Yep. And you're Niko, right? What'd you have in mind for this assignment, Niko?" Noelle, regaining here voice, jumped up, "Hello again!.....I mean, I wanted to do a short fantasy story....unless you have something else in mind?" She cringed at the volume of her voice, and the fact that it had cracked as well. She shouldn't have to be so nervous.....She just always got a bad feeling from the guy. He.....he had something odd and, almost dangerous about him. 'Maybe it would be better if I just focus on the project and forget yesterday had ever happened.' she decided, tensing up, 'He's obviously got something he doesn't want anyone else to know.....'
     
  11. As one of the girls began to speak, Niko stood tall, his gaze shifting from the rather excited brown-haired girl to the considerably more flustered light-haired girl. He couldn't figure out which was which, but he barely cared. He had no idea whether they were trustworthy or not, but he knew that the light-haired girl expressed interest in talking to him. He was taken aback as the light-haired girl suddenly spoke up, and fixed his eyes on her expression thereafter, observing hints of his own reactions in her. "Is she trying to sympathize with me?" he thought, unsure of how to respond to her words.

    After a moment of thought, still looking at her face as he was silent, he looked down at the ground and mumbled, "I have never done anything like this, so I suggest we go with your idea..." he looked up a few seconds later, the same look of caution and respect in his gaze as he watched the two girls, unsure of what to expect.

    Oddly enough, the teacher was listening, and after Niko looked up, she commented, "You are to write a story of less than 500 words which exemplifies six of the ten concepts we have covered in class. Oh, right, but you weren't here for the concepts..." she then paused, as if deep in thought, then continued, "Here's the assignment rubric and description. It has the ten concepts on it. Noelle and Deedee can explain them to you as you make your story, and you can ask me if you have further questions." She serached for a paper as she began speaking, then held it out as she mentioned what it was.

    Niko walked over and accepted the paper from the teacher, staring at her with the same, unchanged expression. He nodded once she was done speaking and walked back to the other two girls, reading the paper instead of looking up at them. After he was done looking over the ten concepts, he mumbled, "so we have to write a story with six of these in it..." He then paused and looked up at the two girls and said, "I think I need a bit of help..."
     
  12. Noelle sighed lightly, trying to calm her slightly jarred nerves. "Well, we are only using the first six concepts of those listed, maybe in sort of a third-person limited or a first person point-of-view? Whichever sounds better to you." Noelle turned to Deedee, she didn't just want to leave her out of the thinking process Dee nodded, waving her hand for Noelle to continue, "Noelle's the brains of our little group here, Niko. If you need something, you go ahead and ask her." Noelle, blushing sighed slightly, shook her head, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure that Dee here just cheats off everyone else to stay in this class anyway."

    Noelle laid out some blank paper for everyone. "We should keep a somewhat fantastical element to our flash fiction as we write it. Niko, Dee, take some of the concepts and write up a first paragraph, we'll compare them together, see which one is best and continue from there." As Noelle, and Dee began to write she ventured a glance towards Niko, constantly looking back between him and the page she was working on. "......Umm, Niko, can I ask why you walked away so quickly from lunch earlier? You can just tell me if I'm beginning to bother you."

    Noelle felt like eating her tongue after asking, weirdly enough. But she did wish that she hadn't asked to begin with, what if he dammed up again. Why did she even care what he did or why he did it? Maybe it had something to do with the mysterious air about him. It just...... made her want to ask questions.
     
  13. As the two girls started to talk, Niko came to a realization and tuned them out briefly. "Wait a minute, not a single one of these people have..." he started thinking, looking down at his rubric as he thought. After a few seconds of thought, he looked up to see the more excited girl say that the other girl's name was Noelle. He then watched Noelle for awhile as she started to talk, consumed in his own thoughts. His gaze may as well have been a blank stare, although he did attempt to at least look like he was listening.

    Once he heard her give him an instruction, he nodded, then immediately began writing, picturing a knight in shining armor as he began the beginning of a story, working towards one of the concepts with his description of the knight. He only got through the first two sentences before Noelle started to talk again. Once he realized that he was being asked a question, Niko looked up from his paper towards Noelle and blinked a few times, his expression revealing his confusion. After trying to recover the meaning of her question he briefly commented, "I didn't want to get in your way," before continuing his work, writing on the paper some more.

    ----

    Niko glossed over the rest of the period, focusing more on looking around and generally being curious about what they were doing. He asked questions which seemed to make the other two girls confused, such as, "what is that lady's job here?" as he referred to the teacher, and, "why are there so many people in this building?" He wrote with a tiny, blocky handstyle, making sharp lines and lifting his pencil often instead of adopting a more cursive-style, and wrote with great English proficiency, more akin to a British renaissance poet than a highschool student. After presenting his initial paragraph idea, he was confused by Deedee's proposition, but insisted that he didn't find any error in it.

    At the end of the class, instead of eagerly rushing out of the classroom, Niko watched the others leave and picked up his backpack. He felt that he could have finished the story already if he had written it himself, as a brief look of dissatisfaction on his face revealed, but he quickly adopted a look of curiosity, looking around the building. "If they aren't going to attack me, I won't need to run everywhere," he thought, "but I had best keep my guard up nonetheless." His expression was significantly more calm and composed as he walked to his next class, "Home Economics?"

    Niko stared at the door to the room in confusion, unsure about what the title of the course meant. Once he walked into the room, he immediately noticed a wide array of gas stoves and pots, then assumed he was in the wrong room. "A kitchen?" he thought, looking around. Fortunately, he found the whiteboard, which had the word HOMEC written on it. Niko thusly assumed that he was in the right room and looked around for the teacher.

    A minute later, the teacher arrived in the classroom and commented, "Oh, hello! Go ahead and stand by one of the stoves, we'll begin class in a minute." Niko nodded, then stood by one of the gas stoves, staring at it. "What on earth is this here for?" he thought, about ready to ask the teacher himself. Fortunately, once class started, the teacher explained it herself. "Today we will be continuing our cooking unit by...." Niko frowned, feeling his heart drop. "Ah, cooking. The bane of my existence."
     
  14. Noelle held a grim face after hearing Niko's response, 'He didn't want to get in my...way? He wasn't in the way! Why does he feel that he's such bother to people?!' It had been every single class that they'd been together in that the boy had hoped that he wouldn't "get in the way." Who's way was he in? Noelle tried to quell her growing infuriation with the fact that he thought he was a bother. She turned back to her paper, giving helpful suggestions to Niko and Deedee. By the end of the class, they had the exact number of words they needed, and Noelle was told by the teacher that they had done excellent.

    Noelle was happy about the grade, but at the moment, that wasn't what held her attention. She had decided, for once and for all that she would try to break down those horribly sheltered walls that Niko locked himself up in. The boy was hiding from himself, and trying to fade into the background!! That wasn't healthy, he had to stop! But she couldn't tell him to stop, not outright. He was hiding from everyone, no....He needed someone to confide in. 'I am going to be that person....' Her mind set, she left as the bell rang, heading for her last class of the day: Home Economics. She sighed, set up her stuff at her gas stove and sat down, waiting for the rest of her classmates to come in. What surprise there was when she saw Niko walking in. "We really do have the same classes....." she notes, a smirk playing at the end of her lips.

    "Today class, we are have a new student! Please, introduce yourself to your classmates!" the teacher calls out in an almost sing-song voice. One of the perks of having the most fun teaching job. Noelle couldn't help but chuckle, something about Niko seemed even more off since the last class he was in.
     
  15. After the teacher finished her introduction, she smiled over to Niko and asked him to introduce himself. Niko quickly got up and, without looking around the room, commented, "I'm Niko....I hope I'll stay out of everyone's way." This teacher stared at Niko for a second after he sat back down, then chuckled and commented, "Nonsense, Niko! I'm sure we're all glad you're here! Now, you missed the introduction to cooking three classes ago, so I'm going to let you choose a partner and watch them for this class. Next class is a test, so you ought to learn well!" Niko shuttered at the thought, and looked around to see who looked amiable enough to befriend for a day.

    After looking over half the class, he spotted Noelle. "Wait, her again?" he thought, suspicion filling his gaze as he looked over to her. He rose from his seat and walked over to her as the teacher continued talking, then pulled up a seat against the wall so that he could watch her without getting too close. After looking around again, he noticed a few of the other students glaring at him. He could tell that they were jealous merely from the average expression which they displayed. Nonetheless, he was more concerned with the girl.


    "There has to be a reason for this," he thought, watching Noelle as she started to prepare the stovetop, "But why would he? Why her? Was he..." Suddenly, his eyes widened, his face was filled with shock. He leaned back and stared up at the ceiling for a few seconds, deep in thought, then looked back at the girl with an expression of amazement and surprise. It was unthinkable, but yet, it made much more sense. He continued to watch her for the rest of class, tucking his discovery in the back of his mind as he learned what he needed to practice for the next class.

    By the time class had ended, Niko was already picking his backpack up and getting ready to leave the room. The teacher briefly pulled him aside before he could escape, giving him a basic recipe and a few pointers which she gave to the other members of class. Soon enough, Niko was free! He quickly rushed down the stairs, speedwalking instead of running, and eagerly walked towards the door, starting to steel himself for going back onto the streets of the city, possibly amidst dangerous or violent people.

    Before he could escape, however, the headmaster lady pulled him aside and discussed a unique housing arrangement in her office. "Hello, Niko! Did you enjoy your first day at Bryerwood Academy?" she allowed Niko barely enough time to inhale, then continued, "I'm glad, now I need to inform you that your father, Mr. Shinji, arranged for you to stay on campus. Were you aware of this?" Niko swallowed his gut and stared at the woman. "Is she suggesting that I abandon my apartment?" he thought, frowning at her. "No, I was not aware. I still have plenty of things in my apartment."

    The headmaster nodded, then commented, "No worries! We have a policy which allows a student one night off campus if they were not aware of the dorm policy, because there are circumstances where families want to have dinner with their child one last time. If you want to stay at your apartment tonight, you are welcome to! But, after tonight, you will have to stay in your dorm every night for the rest of the schoolyear, unless you have a family emergency. Do you understand?"

    Every single word cut deeply into Niko's heart. "Y-Yes maam..." he responded, keeping a respectful tone, "which building do I go to, and what room is my dorm?"


    The headmaster offered him a piece of paper, a map of the campus, and a key, then commented, "Everything you need to know is on that paper! Keep in mind, there are dorm checks every night at curfew. The policy for being out after curfew is strict, so make sure you follow the rules! Have a good night, Niko!"

    He rushed out of the building as soon as he could, stuffing his papers into his McDonalds bag and the key into his valuables pocket. He speedwalked on his way home, keeping a keen eye looking out for strangers or possible danger as he went back to his apartment. Once he arrived at the building, he quickly went inside and listened to the door. Then, he frowned and reached for his headset.

    -The Next Day-


    Niko ran up to the school building wearing a black hoodie and two completely full backpacks, arriving about an hour before school started. He then ran into the dorm building, ran up to his room and dropped both of the backpacks on the bed. Now, his single dorm room was filled with twenty different backpacks, all of which were completely filled with supplies. He frowned at the lack of organization, but ultimately determined that he would fix the mess later that day, preferably after school. In the mean time, he left the room, locked the door, and ran over to the cafeteria.

    That morning, with his hoodie covering almost his entire upper body, he wore a solemn expression, finally willing to accept the presence of people around him, albeit with a degree of nervousness and caution. He went to the cafeteria, got a tray full of brilliant foods, and walked over to the eating area, determined to consume the mountain of food he stacked for himself. "After all that, I'm glad that they don't limit the amount of food which I can get," He commented, digging in.


    -----

    Niko droned through the English class in the morning, using a notepad from his small, black backpack to write a few notes and do doodle a few images. By the time English was over, Niko was slightly more enthusiastic about going to art class. "Niko, your drawing was quite impressive! If you would like to continue drawing it, you may, however I think you would be better off starting a new drawing this class." The art teacher commented, offering Niko a new canvas. Niko shrugged at the suggestion, but agreed after the teacher insisted.

    Art class was over before Niko knew it, but he didn't make nearly as much progress as he did last class. This time, he focused on a single fruit, drawing it from different perspectives in an attempt at photorealism. By the end of class, he was left with a canvas covered in photo-realistic oranges, and turned in the canvas to the teacher.

    Then, he started making his way to the lunch room...
     
  16. Noelle was trying her hardest to not turn around and laugh. She felt that he was staring at her like she was a demon, and every time she turned her head to see out the corner of her eye.....he was just looking at her like he had finally found out the secret of life. 'Does he not know how to cook?.....Poor guy......' she practically ignored the urge to turn around and bombard him with questions again. He was doing his whole "staying out of the way" thing, so she would bother him later, maybe on the way home or something.......Maybe.

    Noelle finished cooking some cookies, brownies and a little cake, constantly calling out a sudden object or technique so that she could make sure that Niko got the information that he needed. When the class ended, she took her snacks, and began her trek back to her dorm. She had to get some of her english class homework finished before she went to sleep. What with her snacks, she had a healthy mix of study food. She studied for a while, reading over notes and short stories from her school book, before plugging in her earbuds and going to sleep.


    The Next Day~

    Noelle had her favorite midnight-purple, space sweater dress on, and her satchel secured on her shoulder safely. She walked up into the school building meeting up with Deedee, who shared her english class with her. "Hey, Dee! How'd your yesterday go?" Grabbing her shoulders, Dee shook Noelle roughly, "Forget my yesterday!! What happened to you?! I saw Niko come out of your Home Ec Class!! You have all classes together! That's too cute, too freakin' cute!" Noelle on most parts would have ignored her, or become angry, but today what with her plan going into action, she didn't have the heart to burst her friend's bubble. Again. She walked into her English Class, surprised to actually see that Niko was in her class too.

    Niko seemed distracted, oddly enough, and was very invested in whatever it was he was doing. "Good to see that he's passionate about something...." she whispered, settling into her seat on nearly the opposite side of the room. Though, she would hate to admit it, she didn't really pay attention in class, after turning in her homework, she practically zeroed in on Niko, observing his odd actions. He was much more chipper today, very engrossed in whatever he was doing. Noelle was surprised, actually, something had obviously turned the now more mysterious boy's nature around. "What happened between now and yesterday?" As the class ended, she was still wondering why Niko's mood had done a one-hundred eighty degree turn. She followed behind him to art, not exactly approaching him. She didn't want to tread on ground when she didn't know if it was safe.

    In Art, Niko was even more focused, though Noelle was a bit more focused on her free drawings. She had finished her still life the day prior, and had the free time all to herself. To her observation, even Niko's interest in Art was piqued, and at the highest level that it could possibly be. She drew at least seven drawings of people focused on their art, Niko not included. And was forced to help Danny, who shared the art class with her, with his own Still Life. She was really disinterested the whole time actually, just trying to figure out the exact perfect moment that she could confront Niko, and once again try and befriend him. After nearly thirty minutes of deliberation, she decided that maybe.....Lunch would be the perfect to talk with him.

    When the bell rang, she was pulled ahead by Danny, "Sara and Deedee wanted to talk to you!!" She went along willingly, rolling her eyes and laughing softly as she was pulled through the grande hallways and into the large lunchroom. Danny skid to a stop, making Noelle bump into him. "Whoops, sorry?" Noelle shook her head, "S'okay. So where are they?" She would probably have to hunt down Niko when he came into the lunchroom.
     
  17. Niko rushed through the cafeteria's meal section, picking out as much food as he could. The lines weren't nearly as long, seeing as he made it there before most people, so he stacked his tray high with pretty much every selection on the menu. By the time he left the food-collection area, he estimated that his tray weighed five pounds more than it should have weighed.

    He found a seat near the back corner of the cafeteria, an area of the large room which people seemed to avoid, possibly for convenience. He sat on his own again, but faced the entrance to the cafeteria, hoping that he would see people before they could sneak up behind him, as they did the previous day.

    He swore he saw a girl who looked precisely like Noelle in his peripheral vision, but after pausing in his eating frenzy and looking around, he saw no trace of the girl, and continued his feast.

    Once he was done, he picked up his tray and walked back to the dish-cleaning carousel, placing his tray on the magical device before leaving the cafeteria to rush to Creative writing class. Once he arrived, the teacher pulled him aside and talked to him for a little while about his experience as a writer. "I'm pretty good at poetry and learned a bit about contracts from my father," he commented, "Although I think that you call those essays here,"

    The teacher appeared to put his response aside and continue asking seemingly unimportant questions until the beginning of class, then had him sit back down. She announced that the class would now incorporate the other four concepts in a new flash fiction, however, the teacher now required that each group, "discuss the plot and setting with each other, assign the introduction, body and conclusion, and one or two of the four concepts to each person before starting. You cannot edit or comment on each other's paragraphs, but you will be able to create two transition sentences and a conclusion."

    Niko walked over to Noelle and Deedee, then immediately took out a sheet of paper and mumbled, "I'll write the introduction, same plot as yesterday, but set in the future instead of the past to better use..." he continued to talk about concepts for a few seconds, then immediately began to write in his computer-like font.

    ---

    Niko finished writing a few minutes before the other two, and presented his work to them. He got the feeling that Noelle wanted to do the transition sentences, so he offered that she take that task and Deedee make the conclusion. Once class ended, he felt slightly more satisfied in his work, but still had a hint of dissatisfaction on his face as he rose from his seat, putting his backpack on afterwards.

    He rushed to HOMEC, hoping to get to the room ahead of time so that he could look over the recipe once more, then quickly made his way over to a stove. "No need to be hasty, Niko" the HOMEC teacher commented, giggling to herself, "You can start once everyone else gets here! I don't want you to follow the directions incorrectly, now do I?"

    ---

    HOMEC was a disaster. Niko elbowed the stovetop and caused the flame to grow so large that he jumped back, nearly knocking over someone else's stove. The teacher quickly rushed over and stopped the situation from elevating, then checked the gas valve on Niko's stove. "What in the Daisies,.........Niko, I think I owe you an apology, I forgot to check the gas valve on this stove and...and it was definitely loosened by someone without permission..." She looked around the class as Niko sat on the ground, now even more terrified. She asked a few students if they knew anything about the stove, but they all denied knowing anything about it.

    "No, it was him. No one else could've..." Niko shook the thought from his head and quickly got back up after a minute or so, determined to continue cooking. Unfortunately, his food was thoroughly burned and inedible. "Uhh, C-could I start over?" Niko asked, trying to get the teacher's attention. "Oh, certainly! You can use the stove next to Noelle for now. Don't forget to turn that stove off and clean anything you won't be taking over."

    Niko nodded, then did as he was told and moved next to Noelle, starting to cook his food as best he could. It ended up dry and far too spicy, leaving Niko feeling insecure as the teacher tried some of it. She told him that it was fairly good, much better than his first attempt. The other students laughed at the joke, finding it funny to remember the charcoal which he tried to pass off for food, but he only found it discouraging. Once the period was over, he rushed over to his dorm room as fast as he could and locked the door behind him, determined to complete his work for the next day so that he could go back to his apartment and check on something before night fell.


    ---

    After he completed hand-writing an essay for his english class, Niko quickly rose from his desk, sensing that it was time for dinner, and made his way over to the cafeteria once more. He repeated his procedure from lunch, piling his tray high with food and wandering over to a corner of the eating room. He sat in the same place at which he sat for lunch, finding that he was rather successful at staying alone when he tried to do so earlier that day. Once he was satisfied that Noelle and Deedee were nowhere around, he started to eat his food...
     
  18. Noelle had been looking for Niko, but it had seemed that he had either managed to sneak out of Lunch to buy restaurant food, or that he was already in the lunchroom somewhere and lost among the mass ocean of students. She sighed in defeat, taking a seat in between Deedee and Sara. "So tell me what happened yesterday after lunch?" Sara held a look of complete calm, Noelle knew she was just waiting for her to say something that she could sink her teeth into. "After lunch, Dee and I went to English, where we got in groups and then-"
    "We ran into The Boy!!" Deedee interrupted, "His name's Niko, and he shares practically every class with Noelle!!" she was practically screeching like a high school fangirl.

    Noelle nodded slowly, "And something like that might have happened, yes." Sara smiled, satisfied with her friends answer, "So....what about this Niko? Is he good people for our Noelle?" Noelle threw her head down onto the table, "My life is always about boys with you two.....Save me, Danny." The boy shook his head, "I'd rather not get in the middle of this....whatever this is." Noelle snapped her fingers, returning her attention to Dee and Sara, "....like a mystery book character!! He's a loner, and always alone, and he doesn't want to get in anyone's way!! OH my gosh though, he's a great writer! Like Noelle!" Noelle sighed, she kind of thought about jumping up to try and find her target.........She sort of lifted off of her seat, only to have both of her arms grabbed by Sara and Dee. "No, sit down!!" they both commanded, pulling her back into her seat, "You are not allowed to leave until we've talked this 'Niko' business out." Sara stated. Dee agreed with her, "You need a plan of attack, Noelle." Noelle whimpered, "Don't I get a say......?"

    When the bell rang, saving Noelle, she quickly took the chance to literally run from her friends, "Love you guys, but I"m going to class, so bye~!" she called out quickly as she disappeared from their view. After escaping into the halls, she quickly weaved and bobbed her way through the crowd to reach her next class, again trying to at least catch a glimpse of Niko so that they could talk. But her dreams were dashed as she entered the classroom. The boy was talking with the teacher, she wasn't going to be rude and interrupt him. She walked past and sat at a cluster of three desks. Dee had come to her, huffing, showing that she had run after her. "What's up, Noelle? Leaving me behind....like that." Noelle shook her head, signally she was sorry. She had lost her breath as well, running here like she did. They both were sitting down in relative silence trying to catch their breath when Niko walked over, instructing what he would be writing after the teacher had assigned them their task.

    Noelle and Dee nodded, and Noelle was offered the transition sentence, which she was actually going to take herself. So she started her work. She kept trying to think of the exact moment that she could talk to Niko about being his friend. But with Dee here, the situation would push past any time of escalation point, if she had chosen to pursue. So she just did her work and stayed relatively silent, unless she was asking about how her sentence looked. The class went by especially quick and was boring the whole way through. When the bell rang, Noelle was relieved of her boredom, and after saying goodbye to an overly cheeky Dee, made her way to Home Ec.

    She was set up for the test, they were supposed to make some simple sweet, for which she had decided on cookies, considering the batch she had made yesterday was so good. Niko was assigned to a stove somewhere in front of her, and they weren't exactly supposed to be talking at this moment. Noelle had seen Niko fail with his cooking, and noted that the teacher was probably being a bit harsh with her lack of criticism. Without direct critique, no one would grow. When he sat beside her, she still found herself at a lack for words. She had never been good at making friends, people just came up and talked to her..... so maybe she wasn't exactly prepared for talking to Niko. A setback for sure, she would have to work on that.

    With the bell for the end of Class ringing, Noelle took her cookies and packed up to go home, she was going to at least try to say goodbye to Niko. But her courage fizzld out at the last second, so as the boy was leaving, she was able to whisper it. Whisper......he couldn't have heard that. No one did. Cursing herself, she walked out of the classroom and made her way for her dorm. "Today was the pits.....Ah, such sadness and sorrow." she moaned, unlocking her door and walking inside to put her stuff away. Her little cupboard of cookies greeted a new member, and she once again laid on her bed to relax. She decided to miss dinner again. She had something she needed to figure out first.
     
  19. The day went by quickly after Niko left the cafeteria. He walked across town to his apartment once more, then returned to his dorm with a pale face and terror-stricken expression - and two more backpacks. A few boys and girls from around the school saw him as he walked by, but kept their comments to one another instead of insulting him directly. Niko quickly went into his room at around 2113 hours on December 17th, locked the door, placed his two additional backpacks against the wall by his chair, and turned off the lights to go to sleep.

    -The Next Day -
    (Dawn of The 4th Day)


    Niko woke up late, in a cold sweat, then immediately packed a metal pipe into his backpack. "No, it can't, I won't..." He stared at the pipe for a few minutes, terror stricken like a man before a murderer. The pipe stuck out far too much to be concealed in the backpack. He had to take it back out. Niko threw his head in his arm and lay down on the bed again, frustrated and scared. "I can't just stay here all day, someone will..." He paused, remembering the previous day, then stared up at the ceiling with wide eyes. "No, SHE will..."

    ---

    Niko walked into the school, still breaking the uniform code, and rushed over to Digital Art class, concealing his identity with a black hoodie as best he could. Just like his first day at the school, he rushed past everyone, constantly looking around and staring at people as he made his way to the classroom. The teacher of the class talked to Niko for a minute about the work he needed to make up, but had to ask Niko if he was feeling alright twice before getting any response from the boy. Niko gave a curt, "I'm fine, just tired." and averted his gaze from the teacher's eyes, more nervous than rude.

    The teacher scratched his head, but assigned Niko to the last empty computer in the front of the room. Niko worked busily on the assignment throughout the entire class, making sure that his hood covered his entire head so that he could only see the screen. He even put his headphones on and wirelessly connected them to the computer, but his teacher noticed somehow and asked him to discontinue that practice.

    Niko rushed over to art class immediately after the bell rang, the first person to leave the classroom. On his way to the classroom, however, he saw what he was looking for and quickly changed directions, groaning, "Crap!" as he did so. Niko then sprinted down the hallway next to the entrance, past the Headmaster's office and into a theater room. He looked around in a panic, and, after seeing it again, he quickly sprinted towards a room backstage, turning his headphones on to their noise-cancelling function and putting them over his ears..

    The entire theater was totally abandoned of people, and had probably been left untouched for more than a week. The academy had performed it's last performance in the first weeks of December, leaving the stage vacated until full orchestral rehearsals, none of which required the rooms backstage. Niko shot through the labrynth of rooms, breathing heavily as he went, and quickly made his way over to an emergency exit.

    Luckily, once he slammed his way through the door, no alarm sounded, due to the alarm having been disconnected since an accident the previous year in which a boy accidentally set of the alarm by leaning on it...twice. Niko shot through the school yard until he reached a different building, one which was used for extra classes in the middle of the day which couldn't fit into the academy itself. Niko rushed into the two-story building and ran through the halls, noticing the bell to start class sounding overhead. He turned a corner after seeing it again and rushed into one of the vacated classrooms. The door automatically locked behind him, and the shades were all drawn, leaving the room in darkness, more or less.

    For the next hour, the room remained locked. A few students and a teacher reported seeing Niko enter the room, but no one was able to enter the room for an hour, until a maintenance worker arrived with a master key and opened the lock. A few students reported hearing overhead lights break and a few tables topple from within the room, but the room was exactly as the teacher left it once the maintenance worker unlocked the door. All of the lights worked, and the blinds were pulled. One of the windows was left unlocked, leading the teacher to suspect that Niko jumped out the window and escaped, but camera footage could only pick up Niko entering the building and running into the room from the hallway.

    -The Next Day-


    Upon extremely careful analysis of the camera footage, forensics investigators managed to find three interesting frames from the two-hour period ranging from before Niko entered to after the room was cleared. The media got their hands on one of the slides, making an urgent missing child report in the local newspaper the next day with the profile picture from Niko's application to Briarwood Academy and a mysterious picture with a very faint, hazy, black patch in the estimate shape of a bird which appeared to fly towards the door to the building. The description of the event read,

    "Local Briarwood Academy student Niko Shinji was checked into campus at 8:10am on the morning of the 18th of December, a new transfer student with a reputation for his shyness and distaste for attention. Two hours later, after an event in which he locked himself in a room for an hour, he was declared missing, with no video evidence of him ever leaving the campus. Three mysterious frames from the security camera footage[as shown] portray the different figures of what investigator Thomas Klennen suggests could be a black bird of unknown origin flying into the school building before and after Niko ran inside. From what the investigators could determine, the boy appeared to be running away as the black figures chased him over to the building.

    Camera angles directed at the room confirm that Niko could not possibly have escaped, leaving the police investigators stumped. The classroom in which Niko disappeared is still under investigation, and the surveillance has been bolstered for the school as a result of this breech in security. Active investigator Thomas Klennen strongly urges anyone with information about the boy in question to call him at 601-220-5859."

    The police investigators thoroughly closed off the entire right wing of the extra building with caution tape, investigating every room of the lower floor from the tiles to the space above the ceiling. Two police officers were posted at the tape at all times, and the headmaster was almost constantly being interviewed in her office. Various teachers were pulled off of their schedules to answer questions about Niko, occasionally during class. The investigation ended at lunchtime after the police collected three shreds of evidence, but the headmaster made an overhead announcement that no student was to enter the building without teacher supervision, and absolutely no one was to enter the closed off wing. She also shortened the curfew temporarily to 9:00pm instead of 11:00pm and noted that "harsher" punishment would be administered to those who broke curfew.

    -The Next Day-

    The police investigator returned at around 1:00pm on the next day to look around in the right wing of the extra building, posting a policeman by the tape to ensure that no one entered as he investigated. Soon after[1:20], he left on urgent call and rushed back to the police station. The school's security and surveillance policies were returned to normal later that night, but most of the students didn't get the message, so they grumbled about it anyways.

    The Newspaper had no information about the "Niko Incident" other than the fact that investigators were withholding information from the press, and that they seemed even more pressured than they were the previous day. In other news, an apartment complex along 4th street caught fire without warning and was soon put out by firefighters. Only one room sustained major damage, but was recently vacated. The owner reported that a young man lived in the room previously, but was unable to identify any of his features, having only spoken to the boy's father over the phone or fax to receive information about the young man. She reported that the boy was, "strange" but reported cleaning out his room the day before after his father terminated residency payments and that, "there was no way a fire started on accident in there, but I never saw the boy."


    In the evening, a few news stations sporadically began spreading information that the investigators had found Niko Shinji, but were still refusing to release information to the press.

    -The Next Day-


    Newspapers reported that Niko Shinji was safely found and, upon investigation by the police, was released on the basis of "non-involvement in the case," as was described by investigator Thomas Klennen. In fact, Thomas Klennen reported that the figure in the camera footage was not actually Niko at all, for reasons which he left unexplained. This left a multitude of people stumped, but when Niko wandered onto campus that day, he completely ignored everyone who asked about the incident, hurrying over to his room with a limp and locking the door behind him.

    The police reported that the case would continue, but that information about Niko would not be necessary for any future investigations.


    -The Next Day-

    Niko didn't leave his room until 1800 hours on Sunday, and then, he left in black sweatpants and a black hoodie, covering his face in a ski-mask and covering his hands with black gloves. He walked through town rather quickly, still limping, and eventually made it to the city park. There, he sat on a bench along the walkway around a group of flowers and waited for three hours with his headphones on, constantly looking around. No one appeared to recognize him with his facemask on, so he sat in peace.

    When he finally decided to go back to school, he grunted, as if in pain, as he rose from his seat, then walked with a slight limp back to the school. Once he made it there, he walked around campus for a little while, then returned to his dorm, locked the door, and went to sleep.


    -The Next Day-

    Niko walked into the cafeteria hall with a slight limp the next morning, wearing his school uniform. His legs were wrapped with gauze in a few areas, and under his black sweat shirt were puffy areas all along his arms and torso. He took a large quantity of food and walked over to the corner of the room with a despondent and cautious expression, making sure that he avoided as many people as he could on his way to an isolated table. Once he sat down, he sighed and almost immediately started eating, without even looking around.

    From the cafeteria, he managed to get through his first two classes with ease, providing the art teachers with all of his missing work without hesitation, but without any apparent joy. He barely made it to lunch, having almost fallen asleep during Advanced Art, but once he was in lunch, he ate like a king once again...
     
  20. The next morning Noelle, upon researching better ways to make friends, had finally come up with a sound plan to become closer to Niko. She had marched into Digital Art class rather pleased with herself, she had taken her seat, and waited patiently for Niko to walk in. But, as the world is so cruel to her, the teacher had issued out a solo assignment. They couldn't even listen to music. Noelle was stuck in a hard place, then decided to move her proper friendship trail to next block, where there would be more freedom. When Niko came in, she could immediately tell something was wrong. The almost happy, passionate face that he had worn previously was now gone, replaced with the placid fear she knew to be his from days prior.

    She was worried, had he gotten himself in some sort of trouble, as much as she wanted to go over and talk with him. She would not get in trouble. She sat in her seat, anger replacing her earlier happiness, anger because she couldn't help. When the bell rang for class to end, she was going to go talk with Niko immediately, maybe even walk to Advanced Art with him, but he had jetted out of class. She tried to hurry after him, but she saw him run way off course as rush in a different direction. Confused, Noelle stopped running and stood there looking after where Niko had gone. "Why is he.....?" She felt someone tapping on her back, turning around to see Danny. Before she knew it, she was being dragged off in the opposite direction.

    In Art, the whole time, Noelle was still worried for Niko, he was scared, she saw it. She needed to see if he was okay. But, that type of excuse doesn't really cut it at Bryerwood. And she didn't even get to see where he had gone. She slammed her hand on the table, breaking her pencil in half. "Noelle....?" Her friend had never seen her so angry. Noelle sighed in semi-defeat, she would see him later, and check on him then.

    It turns out, that wasn't the case. When Noelle had walked into the lunchroom, not only did she not see Niko sitting down anywhere, but she was dragged off to once again sit with her friends. To add with that, she could hear people whispering about Niko. How did she know it wwas about Niko? ......They had mentioned a kid who looked so out of place, who was running, in a hurry, and they said he looked scared. Noelle didn't even really talk for the rest of lunch. So, he was in trouble. I have to find him! She almost got up, but once again Sara and Dee held her in place. "Will you let me go!! This is not some game, Dammit!" she covered her mouth.

    Noelle had apologized over and per again to both Dee and Sara, and Danny too. She was just worried about Niko, and all that worry, and inability to help had turned to anger for a brief second. She hardly cussed in her lifetime. She just had to hold on. As soon as class ended, she would be going to find Niko. In Creative Writing, there was more talk about Niko, that he was in one of the extra buildings. Noelle felt her nerves making her head pound. She had to go and find and talk to him! Her nerves and the small whispers going around the school had made her pay attention less in class. Writing would not help her find Niko.

    In Home Ec, she made as much of a farce as she could, faking that she was paying attention. There were even more whispers going around, and it made her even angrier that she could do nothing. She sighed irritably throughout the whole class, and would constantly look towards the clock. When the bell rang, she almost jetted out of the class, but the teacher stopped her. "Noelle, sweety, are you okay? You've been on edge all class..." she nodded quickly running out of the class. "I'm fine!!" she yelled as she left the class. When she got outside of the Academy Hall, she took off in a random direction.

    Noelle scoured the grounds of the entirety of Bryerwood, looking for a hint of Niko. She even went to check out the building where he was last seen. Though teachers were guarding the doors, so that no students go in and mess something up. Noelle sighed, irritably and went to check somewhere else, vowing to come back to that spot and check for signs of Niko. She stayed out well past curfew, and managed to sneak back into her dorm at 1:30 in the morning. She stayed up looking at the ceiling, trying to think of places she hadn't checked. She might have hardly known him, but she was supposed be trying to know him. The only lead she had was......she knew he was in trouble.


    The Next Day
    (The Fifth Day)

    Noelle was surprised to find out that Niko was not only not in Digital Art, but he was also missing. That the last place he had been spotted was that room. Noelle was worried out of her mind, and Dee noticed it immediately. "Are you okay, Noelle?" Upon not receiving an answer, the upperclassmen nodded, "You're worried about Niko, aren't you?" Noelle didn't look at her for a while, but nodded. She was trying to find a way to find him. But she hardly knew anything about him, she didn't know what he liked, she didn't know any of his family...... She had no starting point. Noelle refused to to give up. When lunchtime rolled around, she immediately walked outside, followed by Dee and the others. "Where are you going Noelle?" Noelle didn't answer, more focused on running and finding Niko. She had to search the last place he was seen. When she made her way to the Extra building, she could see that there were police investigators everywhere. She had to get past them.

    When she tried, Dee and Sara grabbed her, "What are you doing, Noelle?! That's a police investigation!" Noelle knew that, she also knew that they wouldn't find anything. She didn't know if she knew that for sure, but from what she knew about Niko. If he wanted to fade into the background, he could. But she wasn't going to let him. Again trying to pull out of her friends' grasp, she tried to see something that could hint at where Niko was. But she couldn't see anything from where she was. She calmed down, stopped moving enough for her friends to let her go. Noelle would have to come back later.

    She went through her classes still trying to piece together a plausible explanation. Did someone take him? Were kids being stolen off campus? Or does this have to do with someone he knows? He was always looking around, always trying to find something......But what? She growled at herself in the middle of class. The teacher looked over at her, "Are you alright, Miss Noelle? " She nodded, going back to her silence. As the school et out again. The police put restrictors on the areas the students were allowed to go. As well as the headmistress shortening the school's curfew. Noelle knew that safety would be most important thing for the students.......but so was finding Niko. When they were ushered in their dorms so that police could have free range in the Academy.

    Noelle sighed, she wanted to go and help, but she need a second to find as much information as she could. She watched the news, which was going on and on about the small bit of video they had procured of Niko. She sighed angrily, she would head out later that night, scour the city again and see if she could pick up anything about Niko. She had found nothing on her search, and was left with unanswered questions once more as she settled into bed at 12:30 am.

    Next Day

    There wasn't anything new on the Niko Investigation, and Noelle still tried to find to anything new that she could use. She was at a lost for leads, and the police had found nothing new. In fact they hadn't even arrived yet. Noelle was getting very anxious about the entire situation, and when she got her first free break in lunch, she took the chance to go and see if the police had found anything. Or if they had even arrived yet. When she arrived at the supposed crime scene, she found that at 12:00, none of the police had arrived yet. As much of a bad thing that was, Noelle noticed that this also meant that she had free reign to walk around the crime scene and try and find something. She snuck into the building easy enough, and even managed to make it to the room. She made sure to not touch the doorknob with her fingers, and got a good look into the room.

    There wasn't really anything there, nothing that truly stood out. An open window, that's it. She walked over to the open window, looking out of the window. She couldn't see anything from where she stood, and decided that maybe if she followed the supposed path, it would lead her somewhere. With that, and a quick prayer, she jumped out of the window. She rolled a bit before touching the ground, which is what really hurt her. She rolled right into a tree. Rubbing her sore head, and nursing her slight cuts, Noelle got up to find more clues. She couldn't find much that signalled that someone had been through recently. After searching for another ten minutes, Noelle had to head back to lunch or they would come find her.

    Returning slightly disheartened, she sat down at her table with her friends. "Are you alright, Noelle? Where did these cuts come from?!" She sighed, biting her lip slightly. Dee, leaned over her, "You're still worried about Niko, aren't you?" Even without an answer, the woman knew her friend well enough to guess right. "I"m sure he's okay. He'll probably be fine tomorrow. Watch, he'll come through those school doors and semi-ignore like he's been doing. In a romantic way." Noelle laughed at her friend, "Even if you're right-"
    "I am right."
    "So you're right. That doesn't tell if he's okay now, or how or why he left. That's what worries me. Dee, you don't about him, not as much as I do. and even then, I don't know about him, but I know he's in trouble." Noelle almost went back to silence.

    "Well then we'll all go look for him tomorrow, if he doesn't show." Sara interjected. Noelle looked at her, confusion across her face, "But why-" the girl put a hand over Noelle's face, "Because no one goes around, and makes my girl sad, that's why." Dee nodded, as did Danny. Noelle sighed, "You guys are complete wastes of space........Thank you."

    The rest of the school day ended rather quickly, Noelle covered up her scratches with the lie that she had fell down the stairs. And, true to their word, Dee, Sara, and Danny all helped her look for more clues as much as they could. They stayed out of the polices way for the most part, and they din't find anything major. But, Noelle felt a bit better that she wasn't trapped alone trying to find someone. She still did a silent prayer for Niko, after doing her own solo investigation again downtown, there had been a fire somehow. She actually went to bed this time at 11:30 pm.

    Next Day

    Noelle literally almost jumped out of her seat. She was in Dee's room with everyone else when they said that Niko had stumbled onto campus again. She wanted to go and see if he was okay, but Dee said she should wait and talk to him at lunch or something. She was literally ecstatic, Danny smiled to her,"See? Dee was right, he came back!" Noelle let out a content breath. She was so happy, she put her head down on the bed, just thinking about it. All he did was come back, he's still gone through something. She still had to check on him. That was part of her friendship recruitment oath.

    She had literally never been so busy. Trying to get through the halls was torture, what with the press trying to gauge everyone's reaction to Niko's sudden reappearance. Noelle had ended up spending her entire day in the student's lounge, getting the day off because she just couldn't get through the hallways. She considered jumping out of the Student Lounge window, but didn't want to end up all scratched up again. She had to go and see Niko again. Maybe before she headed to her own dorm.

    When she could, she tried to find Niko, going to the boy's dormitory and asking if he had come out of his room yet. They said he hadn't, and he wasn't answering anyone. Noelle sighed, and left. They'd also told her that he looked real banged up, he was limping into his room and just looked terrible. They had also mentioned how surprised they were that anyone had come to see him personally. Noelle nodded grimly and set back on her trek to her own dorm. Tomorrow, definitely tomorrow. she decided, fate could not keep her from befriending Niko tomorrow.

    Next Day

    Noelle was up bright and early, ready to make today the day she finally talked to Niko. She got up, had her breakfast of a cookie and some orange soda. She went back to the boys dormitory, checking to see if Niko had gone to breakfast or something. The people that she'd run into said that he'd left without warning or anything, that he might've went into town. Because he wasn't wearing his uniform. Noelle nodded. It was Sunday, so she didn't have much work to do. With a laugh, and a liter soda bottle, she headed into town. There wasn't really a sign of him as far as she could tell. She couldn't see his familiar scared face.....She ended up going to the park to make a full circle home.

    But in the park, she could see him, well not him exactly. The whole time she'd known the boy, he'd had these somewhat large headphones, always hung around his neck because he wasn't aloud to wear them in classes. Though it was her first time seeing them in action, she knew the man who owned. She almost walked over to him. But he was still regarding every passerby like they were his enemy. He'd likely run away if he saw her. She wouldn't doubt that he didn't want to see anyone, want to talk to someone. And she didn't want him running away from her in public. In school, maybe? Where running away from a girl was a bit less, suspicious. She turned from him, waving goodbye still, and headed back towards the school. It'd be better to talk about what was going on with him there, where there were less prying eyes.

    She ended up making a very long detailed plan about how to approach him and war she should say to him. So she finished her soda, ate some more cookies and went to bed .

    Next Day

    Noelle noticed that Niko was being very cautious today, trying to avoid everyone, though she could see that his limp had gotten pretty severe for him. Had he even gotten it treated? She felt her worry for him growing again. though Dee told her to play it cool. To not smother him so early in the morning......
    So she waited until lunch.

    When the time of afternoon meals had arrived, she gotten her lunch and walked over slowly to where Niko was sitting. She sat down beside him this time, instead of across from him. And as softly as she could muster, so that he could still hear her, "How have you been, Niko?"
     
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