Yokai High (Cammy and Hope)

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  1. -Good morning. My name is Kaede Miyamoto-Watts. I have just moved to Japan from America. I am living here now with my father. Everything is very new and I am still learning Japanese, to speak and to act. Please forgive my rudeness if I make a mistake. I am depending on you all from today.-

    The practiced speech was made with a quiet seriousness, with a bow to his teachers and his new classmates. Everything felt strange. Wearing a uniform, wearing special indoor shoes, speaking Japanese, bowing. But this was to be his new life. Ma was not here. Nobody he knew was here. Kaede's face tightened slightly as he fought back the homesickness, and the grief. He needed to be here. And not just because of the Agreement.

    The teacher allowed questions from his new classmates, and Kaede answered them the best that he could, with help and explanations, and even a few translated words, from the teacher. The school had admitted him based on his grades and a translated exam, and he was going to a tutor and juku to help with his Japanese and History. He was from California, and no he didn't know any celebrities but he could surf a little. He played a little baseball, but he preferred track and field. He liked rap music and some rock, but also Native American music, as his mother was Native American and Black. He also spoke Spanish and a little bit of a Native American language called Chumash. He played the electric bass and also the native drums and flute. Yes, he had dyed his hair blond. Yes, he missed his family in America very much.

    When Kaede was asked why he had moved to Japan, he snapped his mouth shut for a moment before finally answering that he was uncomfortable talking about it, and the teacher quickly brought an end to the questions. The class welcomed him in unison, and he was able to take his seat, near the front and close to the window. The rest of homeroom went on as routine, with announcements and attendance, before the first teacher arrived for the first class.

    Kaede spent a lot of time watching and listening hard, trying to keep up with the teacher. It was too slow to write in Japanese, but too time-consuming to translate into English, so he simply wrote the Japanese words using English letters to properly translate later. After the first class, he found himself slightly mobbed by his classmates, but they gave him a bit more space when he began to look a bit too overwhelmed. He heard the girls giggling and caught the word 'shy'. He'd take that if it meant being mostly left alone for now.
  2. A stream of sweat rolled down Kota's forhead and trickled down to his neck as he rounded the last turn on the track. The cold, hard ground along with the silence soothed him. It was peaceful, relaxing. Of course he'd always been a natural. Since he was made captain of the track team in his first year of high school, youngest person to make captain in his school's history, he has had high expectations set for him. It is for that reason he ran before school every morning.

    He slowed his gate as he headed towards the locker rooms. He had one hour before he needed to be in homeroom. Just enough time to shower and get himself prepared.

    Kota noticed a small group of younger girls in the class under him giggling. He heard the word "foreigner" being tossed around, but paid no attention. Entering his classroom he found his seat next to Haru, his closest friend, if that's what you would call him. They were team mates sure, and they talked now and then, but would that be enough to qualify him as a friend? Not that Haru didn't want to earn his friendship. Many did. Kota wasn't close to anyone. He couldn't afford to be.

    "Sansaki-san!," Haru greeted. "Did you hear about the new student? I hear he's from California!"

    "Oh so that's what those girls were talking about," replied Kota. "How exciting," he said as he smiled.

    "Yeah! Maybe he will replace Tanaka on the team. We've been short since he transferred," he said in haste.

    "Maybe," he said distantly as he brushed a loose strand of hair out of his eyes. His hair was too long for the school's standards, but he usually got what he wanted most of the time so nobody bothered trying to make him cut it. His hair only added to his already feminine qualities, which were often remarked on. His slender but athletic build was a product of his intense training no doubt.

    "Good morning class," the teacher started. "Please, bring out your history books and let's begin."
  3. Kaede was so glad to escape the classroom for lunch. He'd been on a tour of the school with his father before he started, so he knew where everything was. He found himself a secluded spot at the very top of the bleachers by the sports field, and looked out over the track while he ate his lunch. Dad's cook, he still couldn't believe his father actually had a cook and servants and everything, had made him a bento for his lunch, so he didn't have to go to the canteen. Kaede didn't mind. He still had money to go to the canteen and grab some more snacks, which he most likely would before lunch was over. He had a voracious appetite for all he was small, in every sense of the word.

    Kaede was short, and lean. The only thing that made him look his age was his sober expression. His mother used to tease him relentlessly by calling him 'adorable'. What he wouldn't give to hear her say that again. Sullenly, he sighed, picking up his chopsticks with only a bit of clumsiness, and started eating. He was glad to enjoy the solitude for now. He wondered what it would be like to be on the track team. His father had told him some of the things to expect. First year students had to serve the oldest, and learn from them. Like rookies. They practiced when the seniors were finished. Kaede wondered if he could sneak a run in before practice started. He hoped so. He'd probably need one to burn off the stress of first day of school.

    He turned his attention from the track to the other students that he could see. Most of them he didn't know, but he did spot a few from his class. A small gaggle of girls waved and called out to him as they walked past the bleachers. "Miyamoto-kuuuun!" He gave them a small smile and a wave, wanting to be polite, but not wanting to give them the impression that he particularly wanted to talk to them. But, being the outsider, he was painfully aware of the need to play nice. But, he just couldn't work up the desire to actually make any friends. Not yet. He had friends. True, they were all the way back in California, but he still had them. Kaede sighed again, and packed away his finished lunch, heading for the canteen.
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  4. Lunch time was not a most pleasurable time for Kota. It was a time for socialization. Something he was never quite fond of. He had nothing against his classmates, but he preferred solitude, peace, and quiet. He would much rather be spending his time in the library reading, or running out on the track. Being the student body president however, had it's unspoken requirements.

    His table was always full, but felt completely empty at the same time. People seemed to always want to surround him. "Sansaki sensei...?" One of the younger girls at the table broke the trance he was in. "I'm sorry what was that?" He asked. " I asked if you were excited for the big track meet next weekend." Kota smiled reassuringly. "Yes, it should be a great meet. I look forward to it. Though we are short a team mate. I'm sure we will find a replacement in time."

    Truthfully, he wasn't sure if they would, but there was no sense in letting them know that. He'd rather not get anyone concerned. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the large number of people around him he picked up the remaining bits of his lunch and excused himself from the table. As he approached the trash can the obviously new student whom he heard about had passed him by. Something about him caught his attention if for just a split second. Kota brushed it off and headed to the library before class started once again.

    (I hope you don't mind I add a small time skip to after school.)

    At last class was over, and it would be time to practice. Kota changed into his gear in the locker rooms then headed for the track. He was always the first one there as he liked to get in a run by himself before the rest of the team arrived.
  5. Kaede finished his cleaning task, helping to mop the classroom, and rushed down to the locker rooms. He didn't see anyone there, so he quickly changed and headed out to the track. When he got there, though, his heart sank. An older boy was already running. Considering, he figured he could always play ignorant. Nobody would know that he was already aware of his low position as a first year student. He started stretching, then hopped onto the track. It felt good to run again. He wasn't watching his speed and warming up like he should have; he just needed to run.

    Kaede let his mind drift as he ran, letting the stress of the day flow away from him. He started filing through the faces of his classmates. There were a lot of them. Even more than his overcrowded school back in LA. But, he could remember most of their faces, and quite a few names. As he sorted through them, putting them into two categories: tolerate, and avoid. It was a habit he'd had for most of his life. There were just some people that he could not stand to be around. And his instincts never failed him. He really hoped that there wouldn't be too many people like that on the track team.

    Kaede didn't notice the rest of the team gathering for practice, nor did he notice himself actually begin gaining on the older boy. He was aware of his hair, wet with sweat, plastered to his forehead, the sound of his feet pounding the track, and the curve of the lines on the track, but that was pretty much it. While some ran to get to something, right now Kaede ran to escape it all.
  6. Ah. The track welcomed him back like an old friend. It wasn't long before Kota was in the zone. Stillness crept into his mind and soon his moves were instinctual, robotic.

    The hair on the back of his neck drew him from his peaceful meditation. His mind becoming present allowed him to hear the distant yet approaching sound of someone running behind him. The same feeling in his gut from lunch time came creeping back. Looking over his shoulder he could see the phantom footsteps came from no other than the new student.

    This was a new feeling for him. Nobody has been able to come close to him when on the track, and he wasn't quite sure how he felt about it. Up ahead he could see the rest of the team gathering at the beginning of the track. The expressions on their faces told him they noticed as well.

    Kota slowed down as he approached the group, ignoring their baffled looks. Haru shouted after the younger classman, "Hey, don't you know the track is reserved for the track team until we are finished with it?" He seemed to be defensive for Kota. "It's okay, Haru," Kota began while catching his breath. "This might be our lucky day."

    Kota turned to face the oncoming foreigner. "I don't think we've met yet," he began fully aware that he hadn't had a chance to stop and catch his breath. "My name is Sansaki Kota." He said with a smile.
  7. Kaede was suddenly thrown back into reality by the angry shout of someone, but he was too surprised to understand what was being said. He just felt the warning. Uh oh, he was in trouble now. He quickly slowed to a stop just out of range of the group, keeping himself apart and not presuming to be a part of them, yet.

    He was surprised when the upperclassman he'd been following smiled at him. He wasn't angry? Even more so, Kaede was surprised by his, presence. Or the power of it. He'd felt it the day he'd met his father, and still didn't understand it. He'd thought it was just because his father was an important man, but this was just another teen like himself. Kaede was so surprised, he just stared at him for a long few moments.

    "Oh, uh, Miyamoto-Watts Kaede," he finally answered, fumbling over the backwards name. It sounded even more cumbersome since he'd stubbornly kept his mother's name as well. He also gave a belated and awkward bow, not sure if it was the right thing to do. He was superior, but not that much superior. Or was he? This whole etiquette thing was very frustrating!

    "I, uh, am hoping to join the team..." he went on, trying to play down his awkwardness. "I prefer the sprints, but I am very good at long distances, and at the chase, uh..." He fumbled then, not knowing how to translate the steeple chase. Embarrassed, he finally stopped himself from rambling.
  8. Haru's jaw dropped when Kota greeted the underclassmen named Kaede. Kota couldn't stifle am ever so small laugh under his breath at Kaede's awkward bow. He would be a good addition to the team with a little coaching to be sure, but it was more than that. Kota had not been around anyone with his level of magnetism before. It was curious, and exciting. More than an addition to the team Kota wanted him close by to learn more about the strange boy.

    "I think you would make a great addition to the team, with the coach's permission of course. That is assuming you have the proper grade requirements, and permission frI'm your parents." A few members of the team who were close enough to hear were stunned. Not many first year students got to join the team. At least not without a proper try out. "As a matter of fact," Kota continued, "We have a meet this weekend, and we are short a sprinter."

    Kota smiled again. "Your form can use some work. With the meet coming up so quickly you are welcome to join me in the mornings before school to practice."
  9. "Um..." Kaede fumbled. "I-it's just me and my father, but um, I don't think he would say no..." he said a bit awkwardly. "And, uh, for grades, I think the teacher will have to decide. I'm new, and I am going to juku and an additional tutor to catch up. I've, ah, I've got better form than this usually. It's just, um, it's been a difficult day. I was just, trying to relax."

    Kaede was gripped with the desire to run and hide. He hated being the centre of attention, and again, every last eye was on him as he fumbled through his simple Japanese sentences. He hoped his grammar was okay. Then he realised he'd been invited to join Kota in his practice which was, as evidenced by everyone's face, a great favour.

    "Um, thank you. I, uh, I'd like that..." He glanced at the rest of the students and took a side-step, trying to get out of their line of sight and attention, and subtly trying to remove himself from Kota's sphere. It was kind of overwhelming, attracting him and terrifying him at the same time.

    "I'd better, uh, go cool down, and get out of the way...sorry..." he said, making his excuse.
  10. Kota listened intently as Kaede fumbled over his words. Clearly he was uncomfortable ad he made an excuse to leave saying that he needed to cool down. Not wanting to push him, Kota simply nodded and turned back to his team. "Close your mouths and get started on the warm up mile," he directed as he started jogging down the track.

    "I'll be right behind you," Haru said to Kota while not taking his eyes off of Kaede. With a slight jog he caught up with Kaede before he walked off too far. "So what's the deal with you? We're you on the track team back in America? Do you know how long it takes for someone to join the team? How much work goes into it? And you think you can just walk right in?" Haru paused then continued, "for some reason Sansaki sees something in you. I don't know what, but I do know he hardly looks twice at anyone."

    By this time Kota was close to rounding the last turn on his first time around the track and he noticed Haru talking to Kaede. He couldn't hear what was being said, but could tell by the expression on Haru's face that it wasn't necessarily pleasant. "Kitagawa! Get moving! You're a lap behind!" He shouted to Haru and continued on the track.
  11. Kaede winced slightly as Haru surprised him from behind. When he saw who it was, however, he simply listened to him passively, not responding. He pretty much understood what he was saying, but even more so, he felt his anger. Definitely avoid. And watch out. This senior was bad news, from his point of view. He was glad when Sansaki called him off. Then, he didn't have to answer. Kaede's school hadn't had much of a sports' program. They barely had a field and a court, which was why Kaede had taken up baseball instead of track at school. But he'd always loved running, and whenever there was a pow wow at the reservation where his grandparents lived, he always raced his cousins, and won. He was so good, in fact, that he'd joined a community track and field team. Even though there wasn't much in the way of meets and competitions, he'd learned more about form and technique there.

    Finally on his own again and out of the spotlight, Kaede sat down to stretch himself out properly, watching the rest of the practice from his spot on the sidelines with the other freshmen, who would occasionally run back and forth, setting up starting blocks and hurdles for the upperclassmen, as well as timing laps and keeping times in notebooks.

    Kaede slipped into the locker room before the end of practice to change before anyone else got in there. He escaped just as the rest of the team came in off the field. He didn't want to get stuck being confronted by anyone else today. He pulled out his phone and texted his dad as he went to catch the train to his tutoring session.

    -Hey dad, I made the team. See you tonight.-

    It was late in the evening when Kaede finished tutoring, where his tutor helped him to properly translate his school notes, and give him exercises to speed up his writing. He finally headed home for dinner, eager to see his dad and tell him about his first day. Unfortunately, when he got home, he was met by the servants, and a dinner table set for one.

    "Your father sends his apologies, young master, but he was called for a meeting with the tennō this evening and doesn't expect to be back until late tonight. You are instructed to have your studying completed following dinner, and to be in bed at a reasonable time."

    Kaede sighed, checking his phone again. His Whatsapp was blowing up with messages from his friends back in California, but nothing from his father. So, he did as instructed. He ate his solitary meal, did his homework, took a bath, and went to bed. He didn't even bother trying to stay up late to wait for his dad. He was exhausted, and he was due on the track early before school.

    He was already fast asleep when his father finally texted him back.
    -I knew you would. I hope you make some friends on the team.-
  12. The test of the practice flew by with ease. Occasionally, Kota would look to the sidelines to find that Kaede had stuck around to watch practice. This pleased him.

    After a shower in the locker rooms Kota headed for home. He was greeted as usual by his exuberant mother who met him at the door with a giant hug. "Ah! Welcome home, Kota-chan ~!" She said pleasantly. His mother was definitely unique and unlike any of his other classmate's families. At times her vibrant energy was a lot for him and his love of peace and quiet. However, he loved her dearly.

    "Hello, Kaasan!" He said happily. "I hope you're not too disappointed, but after dinner I'd like to go to bed early. It was a long day." His mother frowned a bit but accepted his excuse.

    Dinner was burnt and Kota had expected no less. Ryoko was not a great cook, but she loved to do it so much that he didn't mind. He would eat what she made and usually kept a few snacks in his room for later. After he had devoured the less than appetizing meal he headed to his room.

    It took about an hour for him to finish his homework which came pretty easy to him. At long last he lay his head on his pillow and tool a deep cleansing breath. He thought to himself that it might be a good idea to talk to Kaede's teacher tomorrow and see if they could work something out. There was no doubt they needed another sprinter for the upcoming meet. They were all too lucky to get someone as talented as he. Such extreme talent, he thought. Almost unnatural.

    His curiosity urged him to wonder more about the boy, but his mind and body were too tired as he drift off to sleep.
  13. Kaede left home even earlier than usual the next morning. So early, in fact, that the cook was quite put out to not have had enough notice so to have his bento ready for him. Kaede apologised and told him that if he could have it ready every school day at this time, he would be very grateful as he was joining the track team and might be practicing most mornings. For today, he would just have to do with the canteen at school.

    After getting off the train and getting to school, Kaede headed straight to the locker room. It was almost creepy being there this early; the gates had barely opened and there were hardly even any teachers around yet.

    Having changed and gotten to the track first this time, Kaede revelled in the solitude. As he took his time stretching, he thought about the senior student he was waiting for. What was it about him that part fascinated, part terrified him? His father too, but more fascination, less terrifying. It was almost as if he were some kind of...something. There were just no words for it! The only thing that came close was that it made him think vaguely about the reservation, but he didn't understand why.

    He was so caught up in thinking that Kaede forgot about the stretching that he'd been doing and just sat there, lost in his imaginings.
  14. Kota awoke to the sweet intended, but awfully out of tune singing of his rather unique mother. She was down the hall and in the kitchen preparing his breakfast and lunch as she did every morning. As part of his everyday routine, Kota got ready, swallowed down the not so appealing meal (though he'd never let her know that), and headed off to school. As he lived only a few blocks away from the school he walked. After all, he wouldn't be getting in his daily alone time on the track since he invited the new student to join him in training for the meet coming up. His thoughts wandered to this new student. Kota hadn't met anyone with those kinds of vibrations before. Sure, he'd come across others of gifted nature before. He couldn't help but pick them out in a crowd. Even if he wanted to he couldn't ignore the vibrations of extraordinary beings. It was who he was, it was his nature to recognize them. However, this foreigner was different than the others somehow. Was he? Could he possibly be? No, he thought to himself. I'm sure I'm overthinking the situation. Perhaps, he thought, the loneliness in my situation is making me look for something that isn't there.

    Before he knew it he was standing at the front of the school. Taking the back way around he reached the locker rooms and changed into his clothes. By the looks of it he was not the first person there that morning. Curious...

    Kota arrived at the track only to find he was not surprised that the underclassman had beaten him there. He approached him from behind to see he appeared to be day dreaming. With a loud thud Kota dropped the duffle bag that was full of balls and other items on the ground behind Kaede. "Not many people have made it here before me. Honestly, I wasn't entirely sure you'd show after Haru's rude introduction." He paused, "but I'm glad you did."
  15. Kaede literally leapt straight up off the ground, spinning around to face the senior in almost a single movement. "O-oh..." he said lamely, when he saw who it was. "S-sorry I was, uh...I got distracted..."

    After the sudden flurry of his startled reaction, Kaede went very quiet, not sure what else to say while he sorted through Kota's comment in his head. So, when he started talking again, it seemed sudden and abrupt.

    "Oh, well, it wouldn't have been polite not to show up after you had invited me, and since you're the captain it didn't seem that he really had any way to stop me from coming..." he finally explained as well as he could. "And I'm not very worried about other people, I just want to run." He suddenly remembered something else and hurried on to add, "I didn't really get a chance to ask my father for permission yet. He had a late meeting and I didn't see him last night. I texted him that I was invited to be on the team and he seemed happy, so I don't think he will object. Do I need to give him a form to sign?"

    He snapped his mouth closed then to stop his nervous ramblings. Why did this boy make him so uneasy? Kaede rubbed his hand in his shaggy hair and forced himself not to take a step back, as much as he desperately wanted to.
  16. Kota put his hand up and smiled in surprise at how much aede began to ramble. "It's alright. I'm glad you decided to show. You're doing the right thing by paying no attention to the team members who are less than hospitable."

    Kota began stretching his arms and legs. "The school will require your parents permission. It will be a while before they notice we don't have it, so you have time to get it. If you need me to I can always introduce myself to your father so he can get a feel for the team." He took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. " honestly, I'm more worried about your teachers permission seeing as you're in tutoring for your grades. Speaking of which, if you need some extra help in that department I can always help you out."

    He thought it might be a good idea to talk to his home room teacher. He did always have an uncanny way of getting what he wanted. Maybe he could convince them to let him join the team.

    Casually, he got in running stance and look to Kaede. "Ready? Let's talk and run." Normally Kota hated chit chat while running, but he wanted to learn more about this foreigner.
  17. "Well, um, it's not that he doesn't want me to join. It's just that, well, I hardly see him. He's very busy, and I don't know when he'll have meetings. The, uh, well, his boss...might call him in at any time. He's an advisor, you see..." he fumbled as he stepped onto the track with him, kicking and shaking his legs a bit to make sure they were loose and stretched. "Mostly the tutoring is for my Japanese and History. All of my other subjects are good, I just write very slow, and my grammar..." He started off down the track, keeping pace with Kota as they began running. "But, um, well, I think my dad might have helped as well...to let them admit me..."

    Kaede was glad to be able to get something else moving other than his mouth. He was starting to annoy himself with all this stupid overtalking. He stared at his feet a bit as he headed down the track, trying to clear his mind as usual, but Kota was just too close for him to concentrate. He glanced at the older boy for a second, then back down at his feet. He just hoped whatever was making him talk so much wasn't going to have him spilling information he needed to keep quiet. Like who exactly his father was, or why he was in Japan now, living with a father he rarely saw or spoke with.

    Just that thought was enough to effectively shut Kaede's mouth. He was suddenly much less inclined to say anything.
  18. Kota locked his gaze quite a few yards down the track as he listened intently to what Kaede was saying. It was difficult to decipher what he was trying to say between the general rambling and communication barrier, but he got the gist of it just fine. How strange this boy is, he thought to himself. Normally, Kota was bored with the general population of students at his school. Typically, this new student would be no different, but something was drawing him in. He had an idea, but.... impossible. Once again he shook the idea from his thoughts.

    "But, um, well, I think my dad might have helped as well...to let them admit me..." Kota's train of thought was broken as he heard Kaede mention his father. "He must be an important man to be able to pull strings here. This is a very exclusive school." He paused to give him a chance to respond, but noticed the anxiousness etched across his face. Clearly, he was uncomfortable with the subject. This only made Kota want to know more.

    It was clear to see that the pace they were keeping was not challenging Kaede much, so Kota pushed forward a little faster. He began gaining a slight lead and continued to press forward. "Just who is your father?" He asked directly.
  19. "Um...I'm not really sure that I'm allowed to say..." he answered hesitantly, increasing his pace to keep up with Kota and barely aware that he was even doing it. "He, um...you must promise not to say anything to anyone, please? I don't want people to know me for the wrong reasons..." Kaede glanced up at the upperclassman with a calculating gaze. After a moment, he nodded. Even though this boy made him uneasy, he knew he could trust him. He sighed and looked down the track as they padded along together. He was very quiet for a long few moments, bracing himself for what he had to say, and the eventual reaction. He also weighed the risk he was taking, both to himself and to his father.

    His father had not said one way or the other whether he could tell anyone who his family was. But Kaede was not naïve, or stupid. His mother and father had never married. He was a bastard, even if his father was still a bachelor all these years later. And bastards to important people were kept quiet, and out of the way, and never talked about or acknowledged. But his father had wanted him with him. He would have wanted him with him all those years ago. He had never hid who he was from Kaede and his mother, and he had even brought him to meet the emperor when he first arrived in Japan. His father was not ashamed of him, but still, Kaede was cautious.

    "My father is an advisor. To the tennō..."
  20. "Um...I'm not really sure that I'm allowed to say..." The underclassman said nervously. Kota could see he was battling his decision to say or not within his own mind. He was clearly struggling with the weight of his decision, as he picked up his pace to keep up with his mentor. It was no surprise to Kota that this would be done without ease for him. When he finally spoke he told Kota that he was not to tell anyone. Silently, and unaware to his running partner, he smiled inside. For who was he going to tell? Kota kept to himself for the most part, and he liked to keep it that way.

    "My father is an advisor. To the tennō..."

    The words rang in Kota's ears. Could he have been mistaken? Could he have heard Kaede wrong? His gaze was set forward on the track. He did not blink an eye, nor make a sound for several minutes. When he finally spoke he did not look to Kaede, but continued to fix his gaze on the track ahead.

    "Kaede," He began cautiously yet with a slight edge to his voice, "I can tell you are aware of the delicacy of this information, but I must insist you do not tell anyone else about it." Finally he looked to him with a sense of earnest in his eyes. "Anyone," he repeated. Kota looked back to the track. Though his mind reeled with questions he dare not ask more about his father despite the fact that he probably didn't know much else.

    "How did you come to live with him?" he asked despite his initial instinct to avoid th topic completely.
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