The Dystrophic Perplexment [Icicle x Avabel Brioche]

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Icicle, Jan 23, 2015.

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  1. Niko Shinji 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, a wireless headset, which was set to its noise-cancelling setting, cargo shorts, and in his right hand was a short, stout metal pipe with a spattering of wet, red material on it.

    The boy hastily pulled his right sleeve up, still looking around, then quickly peeked down as he ran. "There's no way," he gasped. 1759 hours. "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?"

    Before his very eyes, the city had…! 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 noticed a blonde-looking girl right in front of himself and pulled his pipe back, raising his off-hand up to try to gently get her out of the way. He was unable to change his trajectory, having noticed her so late, so the result of his action was an excess force, pushing her instead of gently changing her position. His expression of fear was still plastered across his face as he passed by her, but he was too focused and out of breath to speak or apologize. 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 balance his more aggressive pace. [Note: she hears a few words of his thoughts as he passes by]

    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 found out the hard way that they were worth avoiding. He continued sprinting along, hoping that he would be fast enough. After a few feet, he checked his watch again..."1759"

    -The Next Day-

    The boy woke up in a small room and looked around in surprise, slowly getting up as he did so. After a few seconds, he started to look around, remembering that he had to search 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 plug his headset into the charger.

    After a few lectures from his landlady and a final, “I’ll give you TEN MINUTES to GET OUT before I CALL THE POLICE!”, the boy left the hallway and quickly rushed back into his room, locking the door behind him due to the terror which was the lady. He looked through the room for important things, like snacks, a suitable backpack, good clothes, tools, and anything else he thought he’d need.

    After partially filling a suitable backpack, he shoved the charger into the pack, put his headset around his neck, wore the backpack, and ran out of the room, bypassing the landlady entirely as he ran out of the building.

    Once he reached the sidewalk, he pulled a slip of paper out of his pocket. "I can't trust him…..I know I can't," the boy commented, staring intensely at the paper. He soon noticed a man standing still beside the entrance to the apartment standing along the side of the small flight of steps, as if waiting for the boy to get out of the way. Niko quickly apologized to the man before running off towards his destination.


    After a few minutes of wanderving around, he noticed a small building with a similar description to that on the paper. “The last instruvvction,” he thought, his gut telling him to turn back and escape whilst he was able. He ignored the feeling, took a deep breath, then made his way towards the building, stuffing the paper back into his pocket. “I’ll never learn the truth if I don’t,” he thought, cautiously holding one side of his headset, just in case.

    Once he reached the building, he walked in and looked around. Before he had the chance to make out the insides of the dimly lit room, a tall, Caucasian man with glasses, swept-back brown hair, and a professional smile greeted him, offering Niko welcome. Niko stared at the man for a few seconds in silence, expecting him to start am assault. The man did no such thing, instead he opened a door to a different room and encouraged Niko to join him in his office for a few minutes so that he could “Give you the rundown of Lincoln University, your new home!”

    Niko was then asked to sit, so his did. The man continued to talk on and on about Lincoln university, but he eventually released Niko after giving him a folder full of interesting papers, cards, and two keys. The boy looked through the papers after rushing out of the building, then pulled out a map.

    After looking over the map and the schedule of his classes he checked his watch. 11:32 Niko determined that it was time for lunch after checking the schedule again, so he walked around the campus, hoping to find people who were on their way to lunch. After standing outside of one of the buildings for two minutes, he noticed a girl with blonde hair, a girl who looked familiar to the one whom he saw the previous day, and he asked, “Excuse me, I’m new here….do you know where I can get lunch?”
    #1 Icicle, Jan 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
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  2. Natsume Hideyoshi ~Sunday, December 14, 2014 – Evening~

    Light rain filled the city sky on particular winter evening. Little raindrops pitter-pattered, the small explosions they made as their descent came to an abrupt end resounded throughout the city. A petite, young female – not possibly any more than eighteen – was making her way home, a light red umbrella in hand. She had run to the store to purchase some groceries for her family. Today was a day that they’d end up having a late dinner. Even though they had plenty of money to assure that they’d have enough food, their father, Matsuo Hideyoshi, didn’t like spending money as though they had more of it than they knew what to do with. This was a bit troubling for the family, as his ideas on spending weren’t always compliments to what the family actually needed.

    It wasn’t of great importance though. Natsumi Hideyoshi was used to being a responsible member of the illustrious Hideyoshi family. Her father was the president of Lincoln University, where she attended school. This is what accounted for some, but certainly not all, of her popularity in school. She wasn’t one to glorify herself with it though. She liked to live a simpler life, and was glad that the mature students of Lincoln University knew better than to treat her as being any higher than their other friends. This was just about how her life went on a daily basis. This Sunday evening was no different, other than that she had to rush out to the store for dinner.

    While she was walking, faint running could be heard in the distance. It sounded like it was coming from around the corner up ahead. Her natural instinct was to back up a slight bit. It would do her no good to get entangled in something dangerous. Not that she thought it was dangerous, but that it’s better to not take one’s chances when one doesn’t know that it isn’t dangerous. She listened as the sound of feet splashing down onto puddle ridden sidewalks drew nearer and nearer. She’d have just ignored it and gone another way if she could, but this was the only way for her to get on the road that led to her house.

    Her guard was caught down as a rushing figure finally reached the apex of their sprint and then turned down the street she was on with almost lightning speed. It appeared to be a male in a hood, and he was going much too fast to stop in time before he’d hit her. Knowing what was to come, she braced herself with her bags and tilted herself ever so slightly to the side so that less of his mass would hit her. She felt the impact of the male as he bumped into her with a strong level of force. Her groceries were scattered across the sidewalk, their container ripped and wet. Her umbrella had blown down behind her as she lost her grip on it. She herself was spun around before she landed with a thud on her behind.

    She watched, a bit tempered, as the male – who’d seemed so frightened from what she could gather of his face before they made impact – rushed away. A long object held behind his back was vaguely made out, with what seemed to be a reddish color on one end. The last thing she heard of him was, ”…run faster or…never get back…in time.” Natsume was a bit perplexed by what she’d heard the fleeing male say, as well as the reddish color on the end of the object he had. She shrugged it off though, as she might’ve gotten it confused with the red color of her umbrella. The whole interaction did happen quite quickly after all.

    She still couldn’t help but wonder where the male was heading though. What were the meaning of his last words? From the way he ran, it almost seemed as though he were in a hurry to save someone. Either that, or he was up to some sort of criminal activity. It wasn’t any of her concern now though. The odds of her encountering that male again were slim, and she had ruined groceries to worry about. Luckily, she’d brought some extra cash with her…

    ~Monday, December 15, 2014 – Morning~

    A young, blonde-haired female awoke from slumber as the first bits of daylight shined through the crack of the curtains. Her head turned to the side to see the cat-shaped clock that was at her bedside. ’6:30…’ She didn’t have much time to prepare herself for school, but an hour was all she needed. She was excellent in making the most of her time. She was out of her bed within five minutes and was up and about getting ready for school. Her mother could be heard from the kitchen, calling to ensure that she was awake by this time. A “Yes, Mother” was heard in response, letting the older female know that she was, in fact, up and about.

    She showered quickly, as she always did. Her attention to detailed cleaning was fine, but efficiently quick. If anyone were to watch her clean herself, they’d find her methods a bit weird. It was certainly something that she believed no one needed to know. After her shower was through, she dressed herself in the usual school uniform – a plain, white button-up shirt with a gray jacket, along with a simple, red skirt that went just below the knees. The skirt would be replaced with slacks that matched the jacket, had she been a male. A band was worn on the upper sleeve of the jacket, the color varying depending on the year. First years wore red, second years wore orange, third years wore yellow, and fourth years wore gold. Hers was a red one, with the symbol of a peacock in the center – the symbol of one that belonged to the student council of Lincoln University.

    She was quickly downstairs once her hair was done, set up neatly in a single, loose ponytail. Breakfast was enjoyed at a moderate rate before she set out for school. Her father usually drove her when she woke up early enough, but he’d already left today. He said that there’d be a new student arriving today, and he needed to make sure he had someone present to give the new student a general overview of the university. That meant that Natsume would be making the walk. Not that it was a long one. Unlike her trip to the store the night prior, the walk to school was quite straightforward, and only a few blocks away from what she called home – a modest two-story house, fenced in with a pool in the backyard, a roof overhead made at such an angle that only the proper amount of sunlight gets in, and none of the rain or stray leaves that fall from the overhead trees.

    The school was magnificent. It was a large facility, but its excellence was in its simplicity. There was an office building at the front, which must be gone through in order to get to the rest of the fenced in establishment. There were four buildings, two on each side, each for a different grade level. Clubs would be held in the building that the fourth years attended classes in. There was a fifth building within the gate, which was the auditorium and the cafeteria, that rested at the end of the school opposite the office building. This was also where the courtyard was. A sixth, smaller building was between the auditorium and second year building – the gym building. Behind the second and first year buildings resided the football field, the baseball field, and two basketball courts. The school pool was inside the gym building, along with the locker rooms and coach offices. There was one last building, between the auditorium and the fourth year building. This was the school’s prized massive library. Many informative books were located within, along with thousands of other titles. It was truly the school’s most prized building.

    First for Natsume was Physical Education, which was a good start to the day. It got the muscles moving and working, which always helped one to wake up. After that, she attended her Chemistry class. She was a good, all around student, but she found most of her enjoyment in chemistry. She loved experimenting and making discoveries, and always hoped that she’d be able to create something useful someday. Though this was a goal of hers, she still wished more to teach the students that would be attending the new middle school that was currently being built – Lincoln Middle. Unlike the university, her father wouldn’t be the president of this one. He’d instead appoint someone else to be the president over this one, while retaining some major power over its operations.

    At present, Natsume finished up with her Calculus class and was making her way to the cafeteria, where wonderful food was always served for the students. It was no wonder they all acted so maturely and happily. Everything but their grades were handed to them here. If one attended this school, though, it was already assumed that they wouldn’t have much trouble getting the grades they needed to be successful. She was just about to make her way towards the cafeteria when a male approached her in the courtyard. He seemed familiar, as did his voice, but she couldn’t quite place a finger on it. Smart as she was, she was terrible with faces and recognizing people in general. She didn’t need to know who this person was to help him though, even if he did seem eerily familiar.

    Her arm raised and pointed towards the large building right next to them. “That would be right here, sir. This is also where the auditorium is housed, though it won’t be being used until Friday, when everyone is dismissed for winter break. It won’t be used again until we’re to come back to school.” Natsume listened to herself and then sighed, accompanied with a shake of her head. “There I go, rambling again… Anyway, I’m Hideyoshi Natsume, first year student and Student Council President here at Lincoln University. And you are…?” She held her hand out for a formal shake, but then noticed that the male before her wasn’t wearing a band. Then again, he wasn’t wearing the uniform at all.

    “Oh… It seems you don’t have the school uniform yet… Did my father not give you one when you spoke with him? I hope he didn’t have Mr. Fausting tell you everything about the university. He always gets so caught up in talking that he sometimes misses the important details.” Her attention went to his left hand, which seemed to contain a folder filled with papers, full of school information no doubt, along with keys. ’So he’s one of those who’ll be staying in the dorms? That’s a first, this late into the year… That alone proves that he’s not an ordinary student…’. Natsume shook her head and escaped her thoughts, where she also tended to ramble, and placed her hand in the male’s, giving it a firm shake. ”I’ll take you to the cafeteria for your lunch, and you can meet me here at after your classes. I’ll show you to the dorms and help you get a proper uniform. For now though, would you like to introduce yourself?” She flashed him a warm smile as she turned towards the cafeteria building and began walking, motioning for him to follow.
    #2 fol·ly·cle, Feb 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2015
  3. Niko Shinji After the girl raised her hand, Niko immediately remembered her from the previous day, just with many fewer groceries and objects around her. His eyes widened with terror as she continued speaking, his eyes wandering over her uniform. "She does not yet recognize me...I ought to leave before she does, or..." He did not dare continue the thought, his fear multiplying as she mentioned a school uniform. He started to edge away from her as she held her hand out to him, then, without a word, nor a second glance, the boy took two terrified steps back and quickly sprinted towards the cafeteria, barely avoiding another first-year girl carrying around a few books as he went.

    A few students laughed at him as he charged towards the cafeteria; whether they laughed at him out of nervousness or pretentiousness was beyond him. All the same, once Niko reached the doors to the cafeteria. The doors practically opened themselves as he touched them, his immense kinetic energy quickly dissipating as he slowed down and tumbled over to the entrance to the food room. Niko wasted no time, instantly running over to the lady by the entrance way with his card held out. The lady scanned his card without a word and, rather quickly, Niko found himself in the midst of a student-filled and food-filled room. He hastily grabbed a tray and a few silver instruments, looked behind himself to ensure that the girl wasn’t there, and lastly, sprinted further into the room.

    He nearly collided with a few other students, but was careful to slow down around large crowds. He gathered up as much food as he could in as short a timespan as he could manage, then left the food-gathering room in a hurry, continuing on towards the food-eating room. He looked around to find an immense sea of people, but quickly locked on to an area of empty four-person tables and made his way over. Once he sat down at an isolated table, he quickly began to eat, but noticed that he had attracted the attention of other people. “I’ll have to be careful to sit in a more discreet area tomorrow…and take a more normal amount of food…” he thought.

    It took him around ten minutes of desperate, fervent eating before he finally finished the last bit of his food. Immediately once he did, he rose from his seat and quickly made his way over to the food carousel, ignoring a few people as they made comments to him about his “bottomless pit,” and his, “internal fire.” He placed the tray on the rack for it to get cleaned up, then immediately ran over to the exit without much of a second thought, still somewhat nervous as he looked around to see a good number of faces looking back at him with belittling expressions.

    Soon enough, Niko had escaped the cafeteria, and made his way over to the building indicated by his schedule. He wandered around in the halls for a few minutes before finding the “art” room, then meandered in and found a professor sitting at a stool, painting what looked like a pile of fruit on a very tiny canvas. “Ah, you’re early…” he commented, then turned around and gasped. “Niko! Welcome to Lincoln University! I have heard so much about you…” he exclaimed, immediately placing his brush in a cup of water on the floor and his pallet next to it. He quickly got up and walked over to Niko, a rather rugged-looking man wearing a smock and a friendly demeanor.

    Niko felt welcomed enough, so he begrudgingly shook the man’s hand, then looked at the ground as the professor briefly asked him about his credentials. Niko nodded for all of them, as he remembered to do, but, when the professor asked him specifically what he was looking for in the class, Niko said, “I don’t know…” The professor chuckled slightly and convinced him that it was alright to think that way, but hoped that Niko would get as much out of the class as he could nonetheless. “Today we’ll be doing still life paintings, focusing on shape and shading. Class hasn’t started, but, since you’re already here, you can go ahead and start early today. Just get a few brushes, a cup of water, a palette with eight acrylic colors, which you can find on the paint cart over there in the corner, and set yourself up an easel and a small canvas. I’d suggest a smock as well, if you don’t want to deal with getting acrylic paint out of your clothes...”

    As the professor spoke, Niko nodded and, after setting up a easel and a palette, he wore a smock, with the back of the shirt on his front side, just like the professor, and he quickly got his materials and sat down. He used a pencil to get the basic outline of the fruits before the bell marking the end of lunch sounded, then busily started to paint. By the time the first bell for class had rang, he had already painted in most of the shadows and final background colors, and was staring at the fruits with interest as the rest of the students piled in.

    By the time the teacher had explained the assignment and all the other students were set up around him, Niko was already done. He offered his painting to the professor, who was shocked, and quickly placed the stretched canvas on a drying rack. The professor pulled Niko aside and asked, “how long have you been painting?” but Niko could not answer his question, or the next one, or even the one after that. Confused, the professor finally asked, “have you ever taken art classes in school before?” to which Niko responded, “my transcript should tell you that…” but, at the professor’s insistence, he begrudgingly said, “yes, I think so….but I can’t remember the name…”

    The professor was thoroughly confused with Niko, but quickly invited him back into the class, commenting, “the next assignment is to paint a still life in a complex color scheme, focusing on shading and shapes. If you would like to start working on that, feel free…” Niko finished this new assignment by the time the bell to end class rang, and got up to give it to the professor. He noticed that the girl from the day before was in the room, but tried his best to ignore her, afraid of how she might respond to seeing him again. Once he handed in his second project, the professor started scratching his head bewildered and impressed. “You’re very talented…” the teacher commented, smiling as he stared at the painting. He looked up at Niko after a moment and begrudgingly continued, “but you’re rushing. I’d like to see a bit more detail in your work, if you could try another painting next class. If you ever want to practice, come to my room on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school until dinner time and I’ll be painting or drawing in here.”

    Niko nodded, then quickly rushed to his next class, English History, which was on a different floor of the same building. The class was immediately boring to him once he entered, but Niko managed to suffer through it with a pencil and paper, writing down topics he might want to review or search for in the future. Once that long hour of class was done, Niko rushed to his final class, noticing the girl from before as he exited and hastily moving to avoid her.

    Unfortunately, as it seemed, once he arrived at his next class, the girl was there as well. Niko didn’t dare speak to her, assuming that he had scared her, and calmly awaited the beginning of their next class…
    #3 Icicle, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  4. Natsume Hideyoshi Natsume watched for a few moments, becoming a bit perplexed at how he just stood there and stared at her. ’Maybe he can’t hear…’ she thought to herself. Then again, she did point the building out to him and motion for him to follow, so why wasn’t he responding? Suddenly, and without warning, the young male darted past her, nearly running another student over in the process. It was at this moment that Natsume realized who this boy was. The expression of fear that started to show on his face, the way he ran… It was just like the boy that she’d encountered yesterday – the one that ran her over. ”W-Wait…!” As if almost by instinct, she called out for the boy, but to no avail. The young male just continued running until he got to the double doors of the cafeteria. She let out a sigh and withdrew her hand. She’d have an opportunity to see him later. Her father told him that the new student would be in the same classes she was.

    For now, she’d do what everyone else was doing and enjoy her lunch. The school wasn’t strict about what students were allowed to bring, and Natsume always brought her own packed lunch to eat by the fountain in the courtyard. A simple turkey and Swiss cheese on rye, with light mayonnaise. The prepared student also had an apple with her, as well as a thermos filled with orange juice. She was glad she could enjoy such simple meals. It was thanks to her father’s particular spending habits that she could. No worries about coming to school with a lunch that was so expensive it would make her stand out like a cow in a pig pen. She enjoyed lunch by herself until the lunch period was over. It ended five minutes before her next class, which was plenty of time for the students to make their way to their appropriate buildings.

    Hers was the building for first years. She felt so young, with everyone else attending the university being older than her. It wasn’t completely unnatural though. It was a university after all. She couldn’t expect to be the oldest person that attended, as she’d only just graduated high school. It would take some getting used to, but she would – just like she did in the transition from middle school to high school. Back to focusing on her schedule, her next class was Art, with Professor Ichiyo Haseyo. He was an older male, and not someone that one would expect to be an art professor. Lincoln University had a wide variety of interesting characters though. Professor Ichiyo was but one of them.

    She entered the classroom and made her way towards her canvas after putting her smock on. The class routine was gone over on the first day of class, and everyone except for the newcomer was expected to know what to do. The only change from day to day were the projects that he gave; some of those even carried over when they didn’t have enough time in one class period. The professor noticed her entering the room and was excited to greet her with a good morning as she gathered her materials. The assignment was always written on the board in the back, but he made sure to announce it verbally to make sure everyone knew what they were doing. ”Today’s assignment is still life paintings. I want everyone to pay extra attention to their shading and shapes when painting. If you finish your assignment early, be sure to place it on the drying rack. You’re free to enjoy some free form art afterwards if there is enough time left. As always, I’ll be going around the room to check on everyone’s work. Please call for me if you need me, so as to not get in the way of others.”

    Natsume waited for Professor Ichiyo to finish speaking before she got to work on the assignment. It was easy for her, as she was exceptionally talented with artwork. It took her slightly longer than it normally would have for such an assignment, though, as her mind was slightly distracted. Professor Ichiyo wasn’t one to go about introducing new students, as he believed it created a distraction to the students and created nervousness. Natsume was curious to find out what the name of the boy from earlier was.

    Once Natsume was finished with her artwork, she placed it on the drying rack as they’d been instructed to do so and grabbed a canvas from the “sitting” stand. Professor Ichiyo called it that because it was where students were to put their free paintings that they were still working on. She placed it on her canvas and then made sure she had all the materials she needed. Two careful eyes looked over the painting, making note of what was done so far before deciding where to continue. It was already a spectacular painting. It was a painting of the street that she’d walked on just yesterday to get the groceries. All she had so far was the sidewalk and the building next to it; the street and sky were yet to be painted. Natsume looked at what she had so far for a moment before picking up a brush and resuming her work.

    The bell rung shortly after she was done, and she returned her artwork to the “sitting” stand before waving farewell to Professor Ichiyo. Next up was English History. It wasn’t a class she found as interesting as the rest, but she liked it nonetheless. The professor of her class was Kari Hallow. She was a European woman, native to London, the city in which Lincoln University was located. She was a young woman, with thin-brimmed glasses and light brown hair that was almost always up in a ponytail. She was a somewhat passive teacher, but she loved her students all the same. She just believed that students learned better if their mind was on their work instead of benefits for working harder. After all, no amount of “perks” could make someone any smarter than she already knew they were.

    Natsume herself was fairly capable in this class. Her grades were about the average, and her parents didn’t get on her much about it. They all had mixed feelings about the importance of history. It was necessary, but not prominent.

    After she’d made her way to her seat and took out her notes, she noticed that the male from earlier was also in this class. Now wouldn’t be a good time to bother him though. He’d need to focus so he could gather good notes. She recalled that her next class, Basic Teaching I, was having its first cooperative assignment today. Every Monday in this and the following weeks would involve each student pairing up with another and practicing teaching them something – usually what they’d learned in one of their other classes. Perhaps she could talk to him then. English History seemed to take its time ending, but the bell rang soon enough. Natsume gathered her things up and followed after the boy as he made his way out of the classroom.

    She managed to catch up with him, even though he was moving at an increased pace. She was already next to him before he noticed her, which was a bit of a surprise, seeing how he was looking back and forth to only moments ago, and spoke. ”Hello there. It’s me, Natsume-san.” She noticed him become a bit startled at her sudden appearance next to him, and she had to think fast for fear that he might run away again. ”Oh, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I just noticed that we were both walking the same way towards our next class. Maybe you have Basic Teaching I, just like me?” The boy still seemed tense, but less likely to run away then he’d previously been. ”If that’s your next class, I just wanted to give a heads up that there’s a coop assignment today. I can be your partner if you like.” Natsume continued walking as she awaited a response from the young male. She offered another warm smile, knowing that it was the only other thing she could do than to hope for him to not run off again. If he did, she’d have to conclude that it’d be better for him to get used to the environment on his own.
    #4 fol·ly·cle, Feb 6, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2015
  5. Niko Shinji
    Despite his efforts, Niko was unable to avoid the girl from the previous classes and the previous day. He was unable to notice her, having accidentally placed her in the category he placed the other people who he was passing by. He realized that she was not falling behind one second before she started to speak, but her voice incited a reflex reaction which propelled him into the air. He flew into the wall back first, his hands flying out in a protective manner in the direction of the girl, then he collided with the immovable object and fell back down, bouncing off slightly. Before she was even able to get to her name, Niko was sprinting down the hallway with almost inhuman speed, dodging between people and sending loose papers flying. He didn’t stop until he reached the end of the hallway, then bounded up the stairs and zoomed over to the room indicated by his schedule, relying on pure luck to find the correct room.

    He gulped hoping desperately that the girl would not be in his class; and quickly hiding his head under his backpack after finding a desk. The teacher asked him what he was doing after a few moments, and he looked up to see the lady staring at him with concern. To avoid an awkward situation, Niko sighed and said, “Y-yeah, I’m just a bit tired…”

    The teacher giggled, then said, “well, you better stay awake. You’re Niko, correct?”

    He nodded.

    “Niko…as soon as class starts, I’ll have you quickly introduce yourself to the class, then we’ll get right into our cooperative exercises. Go ahead and find someone you’d like to be partnered with!” Niko looked around the classroom to see a bunch of people already paired up and spread out among the desks, then saw the girl and froze.

    Despite his fear, he found himself walking towards the girl. “Why am I going closer to her…..she’s going to…” but, instead of immediately turning around and walking away, he mustered enough strength to stop, bite his tongue to focus, and bowed to the girl at the waist with a serious expression – too serious to not be fake – commenting, “Hello…uhh…….N-Natsume-sama…p-please be my partner…f-for class…” He had to swallow his heart just to speak, having difficulty understanding what he was doing. Once he had finally processed it, it was too late, so he continued to bow, unmoving, hoping that he could find a way out of the situation.
    #5 Icicle, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  6. Natsume Hideyoshi Only moments after Natsume approached the young male, he jumped away, a mixed look of surprise and fear plastered on his face. It definitely seemed like he was caught off guard, and that he still wasn't alright with her presence. This was made evident only a moment after he'd backed into the wall behind him, as he dashed down the hallway at incredible speed. Natsume stood in shock at how quickly the boy darted away, leaving her to wonder what was the matter. A sigh escaped the young girl as she resumed walking towards her final class of the day. 'I really hope he'll be alright. I really wish I knew what was wrong though... He only seems to dash off whenever I approach him...'

    Her mind went on to recalling what had happened the previous day, and how he was running away with such fear. She'd initially thought that the boy might have been running away from someone, but it was seeming more and more like he was worried about her, too. It wasn't a thought she wanted to entertain, but it was possible that the boy was in a hurry yesterday because he did something he shouldn't have. That would explain why he always ran away from her, who'd seen him last night as he was running away. The more she thought about it, the more it made sense. She was curious now, but there wasn't anyway she could ask him about it. He ran away every time she so much as approached him.

    Natsume opened the door to her final class, shaking her head to quiet her thoughts. She didn't need to worry about such things. He seemed too frightful to harm her if she was being considered a witness. God only knows what a stranger can do in times of great need. The irony of this thought would go unnoticed as Natsume set her things down and prepared to search for a partner. The boy from earlier was already making his way towards her! She tried to keep a smile as he approached, but it wasn't easy with all the thoughts that were going through her mind.

    The female was almost taken aback when the male stopped before her and bowed. It was almost a bit embarrassing, having someone bow in front of her when all the other students knew she didn't like being treated with formalities. He couldn't be blamed though - today was only his first day. "Hello...uh.......N-Natsume-sama...p-please be my partner...f-for class..." the boy mumbled out, his nervousness seemingly greater than that of someone asking a girl out for the first time. She hurriedly shook her head to rid herself of the slight reddish hue that was coming over her cheeks, realizing only a moment later that she'd sent the wrong message.

    "U-Um... No! I didn't mean to shake my head! I just had something on my mind!" Natsume was quick to recompose herself before all the other students made a big spectacle of the whole display. Standing up properly now, the blonde-haired responded with a smile. "Certainly." Her hopes were on not messing up this time. If she could get him to open up a bit, she might be able to ask him why he kept running away from her. Hopefully their teacher, Mrs. Kish, wouldn't reassign them. It was possible that she would, if she knew that they all had the same classes.

    As if to alleviate her worry, Mrs. Kish only flashed the two a smile before she began explaining their assignment. "Now that everyone seems to have a partner, I'll explain the assignment for today. Each of you is to teach your partner something you learned in one of your other classes. After doing so, each student will come up and tell the rest of the class who their partner was and what they taught them. This will also be a good opportunity to give our newest student a chance to introduce himself." Mrs. Kish smiled at Niko and nodded. "No worries. You have plenty of time to relax yourself."
    #6 fol·ly·cle, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2015
  7. Niko Shinji
    Niko quickly got back up and, with a nervous expression, started to turn around after seeing the girl shake her head, a gut-wrenching terror shooting through his chest like a charge of buckshot. Before he could turn significantly, he heard the girl's voice and paused, then turned around as she started to speak. Niko was unsure about whether to nod and smile or to bow again as she stood up and she herself smiled, so he stood there with his face plastered in nervous regret, almost paralyzed. After the eternity between her vague response and her confirmation of a desire to be his partner, he quickly nodded and rushed back to where he sat to get his belongings. He brought his things over to the seat next to Natsume as the teacher started to speak, his expression blank as he strained to keep a submissive stoicity attached to his composure.

    Once the assignment was explained and the teacher nodded over to him, Niko frowned. "This is, even if I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to...I'll have to be as normal as is possible..." He frowned down at his backpack for a few seconds, then looked over at Natsume-sama and gulped, his frown almost instantly shifting to uncertainty. He spoke once his heart had finally sunk back into his chest and his courage was restored, commenting, "I'll go first..." as the rest of the students in class started to make a ruckus.

    Niko immediately rose from his seat and stepped a few feet away from the girl so that he could gesture freely and speak up, over his usual quietness. He started with an introduction to Romantic Poetry and Wordsworth. His nervousness and stuttering remained throughout his attempt, but his voice was louder than usual and he easily shortened the lengthy and boring phrases which the teacher had used. He barely paused at all throughout his "lesson," and was constantly adding more to his lesson, despite his limited understanding of the concepts. He tried a few hand gestures, but they were forced, and his posture was, albeit not distracting, very shifty. His eyes were generally focused on the girl at hand, although he looked around as a few students screamed something at the other end of the classroom, possibly to reinforce a point. Niko had to slow down his speaking pace a few times once the teacher started to pay more attention to him, her eyes compelling him to rush, despite their innocence.

    Once he was done, Niko hastily devolved to a quiet, "th-thanks for listening...any...questions?" with some uncertainty, and he hastily sat back down in the chair next to Natsume, as if to escape from the eyes of the teacher. He tried to avoid it, but his expression alone was shouting for her to take the attention away from him.
    #7 Icicle, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  8. Natsume Hideyoshi Natsume tried to maintain a smile while her partner rushed over to get his things. He’d offered to go first, which she didn’t mind. She still had hopes that she’d eventually be able to ask him about yesterday, though she knew it wouldn’t be any time soon. Impatience wasn’t something that could be afforded in such a situation. Placing these thoughts in the back of her mind for the time being, Natsume listened as the boy spoke to her, teaching her things she’d already heard in class only a few hours ago, as they shared all the same classes. That was when it struck her that she didn’t even get this boy’s name. Maybe that would be a good thing to ask, once he came back to sit down.

    Mrs. Kish would give occasional nods of approval towards the boy, letting him know that he was doing a swell job of explaining the material, especially for his first time. It was apparent that he wasn’t fully prepared for this though. There was stuttering and awkward gestures that didn’t always match up with what he was saying. It was almost enough to make Natsume really smile, if her mind wasn’t occupied with other matters.

    The male finished up with a few closing remarks before asking for some questions. Natsume calmly shook her head and offered a warm smile as the male returned to his seat next to her. It was evident on his face that his nervousness was reaching its peak, and she decided it would be best if she drew attention away from him and over to herself. She gathered her things up and left her seat, walking a few feet away from the boy before turning around. She decided to go over the technique that they’d learned earlier that day in art class. She detailed an efficient way to use the technique and such, her hand gestures flowing smoothly as she spoke. She was no beginner in public speaking, and that much was evident from the way she presented herself.

    Once she was done herself, she asked if there were any questions before returning to her seat again. There was still some time left before everyone would be going up to tell the class what their classmate had taught them. Natsume figured this would be the perfect opportunity to get the name of the young male. ”We’ll be going up soon. To summarize what we taught each other, I mean.” Natsume tilted her head towards him, who seemed to be trying to avoid direct eye contact. ”Since we’ll be going up, I think we’ll need to introduce each other. I don’t think I was able to get your name though… I have a habit of forgetting names and faces, so maybe you have the same thing? Anyway, I’ll introduce myself again, and maybe you can do the same.” She tried her best to sound friendly instead of overbearing.

    She stood from her seat and turned towards the male, motioning for him to stand up with her. She gave a slight bow and then stood up straight with a smile. “Hello. My name is Hideyoshi Natsume. Pleasure to meet you.”
    #8 fol·ly·cle, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2015
  9. Niko Shinji
    Niko didn’t know where to begin with the girl’s lesson. He was obviously biased, but he thought that she did an excellent job at everything, despite how he already knew everything about the technique she was demonstrating. He was too self-conscious that she would be upset if he asked a question to do so, thus he applauded her and shook his head when she asked if he had any questions. He realized that everyone else was taking significantly longer to complete their tasks, which made him worry that he did something wrong, but his analysis of her demonstration was similar to his own, so he figured that they would both need to have done something wrong in order for him to have done anything wrong; judging by Natsume-sama’s professionalism, that is doubtable.

    Once the girl beside him started to speak, Niko looked over at her, initially with shock, then with a gradually increasing nervousness. She appeared to have a goal in mind, and was determined to extract information out of him, giving him the impression that he had made a mistake somewhere along the line and was now talking to a future enemy, giving away all of his secrets. He would liken her to the lady at the front desk of the apartment he stayed in the previous evening. She was friendly, but there was something about her which Niko didn’t understand, and didn’t particularly want to discover.

    Once she stood up, he did the same, so that she wouldn’t have the tactical advantage, having missed the girl’s gesture. Once she bowed to him, he started to feel awkward, so he bowed as well, and remained bowed until he realized that she had stood up and began speaking, at which point he stood up as well, feeling slightly confused, and considerably more nervous. He calmed his voice down, mostly to try and appear less like the blithering idiot which he saw himself as at that moment, and started, “I am…..” but paused for a few seconds before continuing, “…uhh, N-Niko…Niko-……Shinji…” his calmness collapsed into uncertainty as he spoke, his eyes dropping to the floor as his cheeks grew red.

    After he mentioned his surname, he quickly repeated, “I’m Niko Shinji. Pleasure making your acquaintance, Natsume-sama.” His voice was calm once more, but his face wasn’t. He remained silent after this, not knowing what to say as he stared at her, his self-consciousness forcing him to pull his eyes away from hers and make excuses to look at other things to avoid awkwardness as their, “introduction,” continued.
  10. Natsume Hideyoshi Natsume smiled, glad that Niko had been able to make an introduction with her, at the very least. She had to keep herself from chuckling at the sight off his nervousness. It was almost cute. It certainly made the whole incident with him yesterday leave her mind, even if only for the time being. Now that they both knew each other's names, they'd be able to properly introduce each other to the class when it was their turn to go up.

    As their luck would have it, they were up first. The teacher called their names. Her only response to their glances was a warm smile. "Shall we?" Natsume looked at the young male for a moment before leading the way to the front of the classroom. "I'll go first," she whispered to him, knowing from his behavior that he'd probably prefer to have less attention to himself. She'd do the introductions first, then let him explain what she taught him, followed by her doing the same.

    "Hello, everyone. My name is Natsume Hideyoshi, and this is my classmate, Niko Shinji." After the short introduction, she motioned for him to begin. "Just tell them what you learned," she whispered once more. Though, it was a bit of a weird thing to say. He hadn't really learned anything, seeing they were both in the same class. It was all she could think to say though. Hands together in front of her stomach, she waited for her classmate to be done before speaking herself.
  11. Niko Shinji
    Niko did not appreciate the thought that the teacher was so eager to have them be the first to present. He sighed as he started turning to walk towards the front of the class. Upon hearing the girl's voice again, he quickly turned around to face her, his expression comparable to that of a kitten preparing to be killed. He nodded after recognizing what her words meant, then hastily followed her up to the stage, standing a foot or so behind and to the right of her. After scanning the class room for threats, he started to get nervous about all of the space which he could not see, namely behind the chairs and doors, but comforted himself with the thought that he would be safe in this building, for the time being.

    After the girl finished introducing herself, and before she could muster a single word or gesture, Niko stepped forwards and, with false confidence, proposed, "indeed I am! I had the pleasure of learning a brush technique from Natsume. The way she described it, the user must..." He continued to succinctly detail the implications of her lesson, with mostly positive details, and one misconception which she didn't adequately resolve. After about a minute of his talking, he retreated once again, transitioning the attention of their position back to Natsume with a quick, "...and lots of hand gestures. Back to you."

    As he expected, Natsume's summary of his lesson was similarly impressive, mostly because she had some degree of presence on the stage, whereas he merely read his thoughts to the audience with some degree of inflection. Once they were done, the class had applauded for their minor accomplishment, and the teacher was done with her few comments, Niko hastily returned to his seat and awaited the end of class with impatience.

    Immediately after the bell rang, Niko slung his backpack over his back while hopping onto the backrest of his seat, then bounded towards the door and, within seconds, shot down the staircase and left the building. He narrowly avoided knocking over a small girl with glasses as he threw open the doors, a girl who immediately shouted protest, but received no reaction from the boy, who was already a classroom's width away from her. He didn't stop for anyone or anything as he went back through the campus and over to the dorm building. After entering the structure, he shot up the stairs and over to his room. Upon checking his paper once more, he opened the door with his key card and locked it behind him, deadbolt and all.


    A few hours later, at dinner time, Niko nervously left his dorm building, no longer wearing a backpack, and quickly made his way towards the cafeteria. He noticed a few people trying to get his attention along the way, but he merely avoided and outran them. Once he reached the cafeteria, he was horrified to note that the line was terribly long. Instead of hoping to blend in or hide, he exited the cafeteria, sprinted around to lose his pursuers, then walked back to the cafeteria as inconspicuously as he possibly could. Of course, being a very interesting figure without a uniform, he stuck out like a sore thumb and was soon gathering the attention of the same pursuers once again as he waited in the significantly shortened line.

    He apologized to the girl who screamed at him many times, perhaps because he didn't hear her protest that he was forgiven over the thousands of other noises around him. Once he was through the line and gathering food in the cafeteria, he finally felt relative peace again. Upon collecting as much food as his tray would hold without threat of breaking, he walked into the food-eating area and, once again, found the emptiest space which he could find and began happily eating away at his food.

  12. Natsume Hideyoshi Natsume watched patiently as her classmate gave his own little speech about what she'd "taught" him. Thoughts about who he was and what he was doing last night ran through her mind during her current leisure time, though she hid this from being observed on the outside. She needn't pointlessly worry the teacher or make the boy before her even more terrified of her than he already seemed to be. It wasn't like she had anything to go on anyway. It was too dark out last night to really make anything out, so the liquid she saw on that pipe could've been anything. She could envision herself letting out a laugh at such optimistic thinking. Like there would be any reason for him to run if it was something else. There were too many factors for it to be as simple as that. With a mental shake of the head, she pushed these thoughts to the back of her mind, where they would stay until she could properly ask him about all of it - granted he doesn't simply run away again. For now, all she could hope to do was earn his trust.

    It wouldn't be long before the class's attention was returned to her. She smiled at Niko a bit nervously, as this would be the part where they both bow. She shrugged it off though and went with the flow as well as she could. "And that concludes our presentation. Thank you for listening." A bow was given with a slight glance over towards Niko, hoping he would understand to do the same. A quiet round of applause was given, followed by questions from the teacher which were swiftly answered on Natsume's part.

    Once they'd both returned to their seats, Natsume towards the front and Niko all the way in the back. After class ended, Niko was out of the classroom and gone before Natsume could try to speak to him. All she could see as evidence of him being gone was a girl yelling towards him on his way through the hallway - a first year. She helped the young girl up and apologized for the male, but she didn't seem to be having any of that. She seemed to be speaking under the breath, but all Natsume could make out were some mumbles. Mysterious as he was, Natsume still hoped this girl wouldn't start trouble with their newest peer.

    The door to Natsume's bedroom closed behind her as she pulled her phone out. It was almost time for dinner to be served at the cafeteria. She normally ate at home, but she felt like it would be best if she checked on Niko. It was his first day, after all, and it wouldn't do for him to get involved in some troubling matters already. After giving a short "see you later" to her parents, she made her way out towards the cafeteria, which was located near the dorm Niko was supposed to be occupying.

    It was only a short walk from her house to the dorm, as both were located relatively close to the school. She identified herself to the dorm guard and then made her way towards the cafeteria. Dinnertime was already here, and she could only hope that Niko decided to attend. Entering the cafeteria, she scanned the line in hopes that she would spot him, but she didn't have any luck. Knowing him, he'd either show up and sit by his lonesome or stay at the dorm altogether. Sure enough, Niko was seated alone. This time, however, he seemed to be enjoying himself contently, rather than being in what seemed to be a frantic state of panic.

    Natsume headed towards the line, making up her mind to eat dinner here. She decided against going up to him though, as it didn't seem like a decision that would help make her seem less "suspicious". They had plenty of school ahead of them, so she'd simply talk to him during one of their classes tomorrow, if he decided to show up. For now, she'd simply take up a seat next to one of her friends and enjoy her lunch, just as Niko was.
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