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Mayu Kojima

"I'll help you every step of the way! You can do it!"

0 · 996 views · located in Japan

a character in “Katekyo Hitman REBORN!: Undying Will”, as played by ¢σℓ∂

Description



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No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying.



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ImageFULL NAME
      Mayu Kojima

AGE
      15 // January 25

GENDER
      Female

FLAME TYPE
      Compatible with Storm

OCCUPATION
      Student & 'Fortune Teller'

GENERAL APPEARANCE
      Both famous and notorious for her exterior, Mayu is known to delight and irritate her peers with her near permanent smile. Energy and positivity seems to radiate from her, who has been likened to air-headed anime heroines and bubbly idols alike, although truly, like the majority of high school girls, this is partially accomplished by a thin layer of concealer and subtle make-up to tint her cheeks and lips. This, in the opinion of others, compensates for her underwhelming height of five feet even. Petite and fashion conscious, outside of school Mayu favors shorts skirts, comfortable sweaters, and himekaji fashion: sailor collars floral print, delicate accessories, and pieces from Liz Lisa take up a large portion of her closet space. Despite her adoration for clothes styled to be reminiscent of a casual princess, her hair refuses to become straight, and even after a thorough brushing will begin to develop curls and proceed to look like she has eternally woken from a long nap, however, Mayu has since gotten over her complex for her hair and since embraced it, going so far to say it ‘mirrors her inner personality’.


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PERSONALITY
“I’m a monster pretending to be human, aren’t I?”

She’s like the sun – she’s smiling, laughing, enjoying a carefree existence, submerged in the everyday life of a high school girl, giggling with friends and swapping make-up secrets and cramming for dreaded exams. A friendly person, an insufferable happy person, a person that is willing to help her peers streatch during PE and help them master vault jumps and handstands, a person who will share food from her bento and who will organize study groups that end in that group of friends splurging on something good to eat. She’s bright, she’s normal, a daydreamer with a penchant for spreading positivity, like an infection.

“…I forgot that my heart is cold.”

It’s all a half-hearted lie she told herself, even though she can feel the joy and take delight in this life she leads, she knows there are harrows within her that failed to be filled with nurturing care. A crying friend – she doesn’t empathize. A betrayed companion yelling, arguing – she can’t deprecate herself, she feels to guilt for forgetting and neglecting. It’s all black and white; kill the shepherd and the sheep, because isn’t it all the same in the end? She takes money from those that stare at her legs and breasts, counts the bills, sends them to her parents, purchases expensive clothes, and feels nothing. Mayu dreams of the dead and can just barely remember how they ended up in the dirt, and feels nothing.

This ordinary life isn’t for her, there’s only dissonance covered by an act of naivety.
Someone who was born beneath the moon cannot live as the sun – it’s simple.
Even though she avoids it: this innocent life isn’t hers.


LIKES
School: Although many of the lessons fail to engage her, Mayu wakes up each morning with a smile on her face, awaiting the moment when she can share her oversized bento with friends and help her peers master vault jumps during PE. This ordinary everyday life may be repetitive, but she enjoys making the small moments at Namamori High extraordinary – whether it’s through goofing off or helping someone confess to their true love of the week.

Gymnastics: It’s been the one constant in her life, and she finds satisfaction in stretching her body until pain swathes her limbs, has a love from wringing out her muscles until her body is exhausted and coated in sweat. The sport allows her to clear her mind and simply act, whether it be ny twisting her body or flying through the air.

Fashion: Since she was a child Mayu has been expected to dress a certain away for particular individuals, and has furthermore been trained to read a person’s traits through the clothes they way. Although this way of thinking has since started to deteriorate, she still has a taste for fashion and is fond of the passion people put into making clothes. Partial to himekaji fashion, Mayu follows certain fashion magazines to keep up with her favorite designers, brands and styles, and finds simply joy in experimenting with make-up techniques and new clothes to better express herself – whoever that may be.

App Games: She doesn’t care for complicated games, reading lengthy novels, or dedicating herself to collecting cards – therefore app games are one of the best ways to recharge without passing out. Her favorite games include Neko Atsume, Plant Nanny, and Line Play.


DISLIKES
Contradictions: All people are to be treated kindly, however those that do not meet certain standards are to be ignored; killing is a sin, yet under certain circumstances, can be justified; the individual in power can take advantage of others, but those without power can never take advantage of those in powers. Her thinking may often seem black and white – because in her world, it is, or it isn’t.

Exams: Once upon a time standardized tests used to be easy for her, but now her head is clouded and her memory has become poor, thus it’s no surprise that her exam grades are typically poor, or average at best. Mayu dreads exams and will usually enlist people into helping her pass them with subtle cheating, if possible that is.

Perverts: She may take their money and be accustomed to the unsavory gazes of adults and boys, but that doesn’t mean she enjoys it. Her thoughts are always the same: “what a waste, what disgusting people”. Those that approach her with their desires worn on their sleeves are to be exploited for profit and other various gains, and if they can’t be made useful, then they’re to be watched at with suspicion and spoken to with deprecation in her voice.

Horror Films: Maybe she just doesn’t understand them. These movies don’t frighten her, though excessive gore can make her wince, but more than that she’s simply confused on how they’re enjoyable at all. For some reason fictional violence does nothing for her, not when there’s plenty of real violence in their reality.


FEARS
Debt: Having experienced the stress and anxiety of being in a family that relied on incoming paychecks and had to negotiate with the hospital to make sure ends meet, money is something that naturally makes her anxious. It’s a complicated matter she would rather avoid, so the thought of being in debt makes her skin crawl, and that’s the reason why she can’t do absolutely nothing.

Becoming ‘Empty’: There’s something missing from within her – Mayu is aware of that, she knows that there’s a part of her that isn’t quite human, because she cannot feel guilt for her actions, because she doesn’t think or feel like her peers. It’s frightening to think she could become less than this, to be an empty shell that feels nothing at all, therefore she fights to preserve her persona of a bubbly high school girl, lest she finally give into her lack of humanity.


SKILLS
Trading’: It’s a system of two people taking advantage of one another to gain something. In her case, she’s usually after an alternative method to getting good marks, or receiving cash payment. It’s a small skill in manipulation, however, it fails to be true manipulation since the two party’s benefit from each other’s misdeeds.

Eliminating Stress: Overall Mayu rarely becomes stressed, and perhaps this is to be expected since Mayu doesn’t feel guilt. She’s talented at living in the moment and rolling with the punches, so to speak, and is the type of person that acts first, rather than overthinking something.

Knowledgeable / Experienced: Although she may not remember much of her childhood, Mayu was trained to be a hitman and valued member of a yakuza organization. Somewhere within her skull is knowledge on poisons and how to kill and cover the fact up, and her muscles will never forget the act of deceiving and killing, even if it’s been so long that her conscious mind has let her forget.


HOBBIES
Volunteering: It’s almost a habit, having become used to it after volunteering with her parents after they moved to Tokyo. Currently Mayu volunteers at the hospital and usually spends her time in the children’s ward to read them stories. If she’s not caught up in that, then she runs errands for nurses and doctors at their request.

SEXUALITY
Pansexual

ODDITIES
Airheaded & Poor Memory: She forgets dates, routinely spaces out, becomes lost consistently, cannot memorize information with ease, recall the finer points of her past, and is known for daydreaming. It’s normal for Mayu to forget to text a friend back, or for her to end up eating ramen when she simply met to go to the library to study, and you can rely on her to be that poor kid who gets called out for sleeping in class.

Yakuza Dogma: The lifestyle was pounded into her head during formative years, and although it’s been repressed, their dogma is still stubbornly a part of her. A sense of responsibility to her country, a gray morality, a twisted perception when it comes to laws and crime and what is right and what is wrong – it goes on, to hierarchal order, honor and loyalty, and concepts of an ‘eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’.




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ABILITIES
      Acrobats & Contortion: Enrolled in gymnastics since she was a child, Mayu’s muscles are flexible, strong, and uphold a memory of their own. She can contort her body in various positions, including being capable of bending her back until she can grab onto her ankles whilst standing. Since she still participates in the sport, and considers herself a competitive individual in it, she can perform various flips with ease and can seamlessly move her body, able to complete physical feats with such fluidity that it seems that she acts without thought.

      Guilt Free Conscious: Contrasting with the personality she presents, Mayu is unfamiliar to the emotion of guilt. Simply put, she is incapable of feeling remorse for her actions, and instead feels indifference for any misdeeds she had committed. As a child, while she assisted her mother in various crimes including murder, she did as she was told without flinching, and has suffered no trauma since then. This state of apathy has allowed her to, perhaps ironically, maintain her sanity, for she doesn’t stress over social dynamics, nor does she feel guilt for taking advantage of people –whether it be to gain wealth, help her grades, or push herself ahead.

WEAPONS/TOOLS
      Pepper Spray: It’s an essential since her job is compensating dating – aka- talking to men much older than herself for cash. It also comes in handy when walking around alone at night, or if her male classmates cross a line. She hasn’t had to use it on very many people, but it’s comforting to have it in her purse at all times.

BOX WEAPONS
      N/A // TBA

TECHNIQUES
      N/A // TBA

STRENGTHS
      Physical Fitness & Athletic Experience: As previously stated Mayu has participated in the sport of gymnastics since she was a child, and therefore maintains and healthy, fit body with muscles that retain their own type of memory. Having progressed in the sport to be considered a worthy contender at nation-wide competitions, she has outstanding control of her body and has an above average amount of stamina and endurance.

      Killing Experience: When she was a child Mayu took part in helping her parents and the Yamaguchi-gumi ‘transport enemies to the other side’. This was usually done by her deceiving them, sometimes luring them to a certain location so adults could take care of them, or to eliminate them herself. At this stage she administered poison to these people to kill them, and was taught of different substances and methods of killing so even medical examiners wouldn’t notice any foul play. Additionally she has a developed sense of stealth and charisma due to this previous practice.

WEAKNESSES
      Physical Disadvantages: Although Mayu’s body is in shape and is capable of extraordinary things, she was never formally taught any combat techniques or any form of martial arts, thus her ability to fight hand-to-hand is currently unexplored. As one would expect, those with knowledge in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat would be able to easily overpower her, especially because she lacks muscles mass and therefore has none of the strength that would come with it.

      Combat Knowledge: It was more likely for her to doze off during history class than memorize techniques used by famous army leaders, and Mayu would have no idea how to handle herself in a fight, rather than to approach it head on. She simply has no background knowledge on what one would do in this type of situation, even when she was taught the ways of the yakuza since they only planned for her to be a hitman, not a solider.



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ROMANTIC INTEREST
N/A

FAMILY
Takayuki Kojima (47) & Chiaki Kojima (44) & Masaki Kojima (3) [Father, Mother, Brother - Living in Tokyo]
Ryutaro Kudoh & Chizuru Kudoh [Grandparents - Lives with them at Namamori]


HISTORY
The newlyweds were praised for their kindness and intelligence, their level heads, and lifestyle that framed the desires of many. The woman had a doctorate in botany, the man a graduate from law school, and the two of them had been born into separate generations of trained killers, both in tongue and in action. Affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza organization, the two upheld the organization’s identification as a chi organization in opposites. The man entered the government structure, acting as a diplomat of sorts, and solidified his good name through eloquence and meticulous paperwork. The woman, however, had her feet buried in the dirt, and polished the Yamaguchi-gumi name by transporting threats to the other world in silence. Thus, they were two sides of the same kind, ruthless in their own right, yet generous – as they sought to support their own country, and heavily took part in organizing relief support after disasters, and were known in the group for assisting other members who were struggling, or had family that were.
Their child, born of cruel and righteous blood, suited neither side.

Mayu Kojima was their first child, and instead of being protected behind firm doors like many yakuza children, walked alongside those that manipulated foolish stockholders and tricked women from overseas into lives of prostitution. They saw their child as a successor – someone who should be raised to surpass the two of them, who could continue working for the Yamaguchi-gumi and protect Japan without the encumbering expectations of morality. When she had grown old enough they enrolled her in gymnastic classes, where she stretched her muscles alongside children of ordinary families, and furthermore they taught her their doctrine. During these formative years Mayu was considered to be their ideal child: she followed their orders without question yet questioned everything else, she pushed her body beyond its limits without complaint, she recited the laws of their clan without stuttering, and assisted her classmates in areas of academics and physical training.

But she exceeded expectations – she could administer vials of poison to those sleeping in hospital beds, she would hold onto the hands of those with death sentences, and she would lead people into the otherworld much like her mother could all while knowing exactly what she was doing, knowing the morals of normal society and understanding the act of killing and the state of death –and never did her parents hear her cry or question their validity of their actions. And this, watching their child kill with a cold heart, is what brought a tremble to their spines, and what caused them to flee Kobe for Tokyo – her parents taking on new names, new faces, new identities, and the Kojimas were born.

They forced themselves into ordinary molds, abandoned their precious lives and attempted to fix their wrongs by teaching their child of morals and philosophy. Nonetheless, what had been learned and experienced in formative years have made a permanent mark on her, and although Mayu began to develop beyond an object for the Yamaguchi-gumi, especially as her memory of childhood began to fade, she never developed a capability to feel as other people commonly do. They replaced her previous routine with acts of selfless kindness – the family regularly took part in volunteer work for the city, often including assisting struggling families, individuals with severe disabilities, and eventually the cold child they raised grew into one with a warmer persona – as if she had become the sun itself – howbeit, her memory began to fog, and she became what’s commonly known as an ‘airhead’.

This they could accept, attributing the mental change to the stress they put Mayu in during her formative years along with the typical treatment for good health that she was deprived of. Now without the burden of the strict doctrine, without needed to twist her perception to kill, Mayu’s brain had to shift and alter itself to accept a new way of living that contradicted her previous life – and so it was without surprise that her range of emotions became shallow, how simplistic she could be, and why her test scores became completely average.

But Mayu became a happy, cheerful child, and that’s all they could ask for.

Or, that’s how it seemed on the surface.

At thirteen Mayu began to wander the streets of Akihabara with flyers, and she became involved with the act of compensated dating. She started walking with adult men and speaking to them in a friendly manner shortly after her younger sister was born – a sickly baby who required many visits to the hospital to survive and special technology to support her at home – and originally it was to help provide for her family. Without them knowing she would send funds into her parent’s mailbox underneath the pretense of an anonymous member of the community, and it was in this way that she began to rediscover the nature of her heart. Men her father’s age would stare at her bare legs with an expression that could be described in no way as lewd, and she discovered when other girls like her felt ashamed or scared, she felt nothing. This was a means to an end, she saw herself in an arrangement with these men that was nothing more than two people taking advantage of one another, with one party interested in money, and the other directed by perverted desires. When her family unveiled the truth they sent her to live with her grandparents in Namamori – hoping that keeping her away from the city would help undo the damage they, and the corruption of the city, had done, but the move did little to change her.

She was the same as she had been: moderately popular at school for her sociable and helpful nature, a competitive gymnast, and a person of self-interest. If she couldn’t make good marks on her own, then she would make a ‘trade’ to convince others to help her (whether this be by helping students boost their popularity or by shortening her skirt when studying with an interested person); if she couldn’t make money on her own officially, then she would work outside the books and become a ‘fortune-teller’ for lonely and perverted adults. She feels no guilt for the natural order of the world, and continues on, smiling and joking, just like any other high school girl.




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So begins...

Mayu Kojima's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izaya Ryujin Character Portrait: Nami Gokudera Character Portrait: Roni Hideaki Character Portrait: Fia Leone Character Portrait: Enon Nakada Character Portrait: Chester Sterling Character Portrait: Cambrey Bovino Character Portrait: Mayu Kojima Character Portrait: Lilith Dusk Character Portrait: Ryuu Morimoto Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Makoto Fujiki Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Crostoph L. Stings Character Portrait: Akira Shinsato Character Portrait: Godot Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Aobane Kuroiobashi Character Portrait: Jett Hideaki Character Portrait: Akamatsu Hiroshi Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa Character Portrait: Ai Shaji Character Portrait: Joel Lambe Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera Character Portrait: Mikhail Sergeyevich Character Portrait: Luka Character Portrait: Lyndis Kyori Character Portrait: Asa Solomon Character Portrait: Tsuneo Kure Character Portrait: Yume Hibari Character Portrait: Mamoru Hibari Character Portrait: Leon Kusumoto Character Portrait: Shou Arasaka Character Portrait: Florence Sterling Character Portrait: Zenith Lucci
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"Listen here, young Ieharu."

At the mentioning of his name, Ieharu's ears perked up, but he didn't turn to look at the source. He was too busy playing his video game, torso hunched to the side, shoulders scrunched in concentration, the clicks and clacks of his controller nearly as deafening as the sound of gunfire emanating from the massive flat screen before him. This wasn't the first time he had to multitask while an adult was talking.

"I probably shouldn't be telling you this–in fact I shouldn't be, but I believe honorable men like myself should show some good charity toward the families of their targets."

Ieharu's eyes narrowed slightly, but his concentration on his game didn't falter for a second. Though he was only halfway paying attention, he did recognize the voice. Male. Upbeat. Sanguine, but with a hint of danger. It was Godot, though his twin brother Ieyoshi always called the man "their new nanny".

"You might not believe me–I get it, it's a little sudden–but I am an assassin sent by an anonymous payer of mine to knock off an heir of the Vongola family."

From where he stood in the room, Godot took a few steps closer. Ieharu didn't notice, nor did he respond. On the TV, a rival's body exploded in a plume of blood and body parts. Presumably the boy's doing, because he snickered softly.

"Namely, that would be you, Ieharu Sawada." Outside, thunder boomed, ravaging the skies. It was several moments before Ieharu reacted, but then it was as if he'd been physically slapped. The clicking and clacking from the controller ceased immediately as he slowly turned his head, looking over his shoulder at the man who had just threatened his life in no uncertain terms. He was standing pretty close, too. Eyes wide, Ieharu moved his lips as if to form words, but nothing came out.

"Indeed," Godot continued, shrugging as if it were none of his business, his attitude cavalier. "Your Daddy-o's quite an important guy, and there are certain people who are quite concerned as to who takes his nice leather-padded throne."

Ieharu dropped the controller. The sound of an explosion erupted from the TV soon after, the flat screen flashing wildly before going black. There were only two words on the screen now: Game Over.

It was then that Ieharu found his voice, high pitched and wracked with incredulity. "Wait... what?!"

"I don't think you'd be all too interested in the details, seeing as you're going to die anyway." Godot took another step closer. He was within arm's reach of the boy now. "But just think of this as my diagnosis for you."

While gaming, Ieharu had been seated on the edge of a particularly comfortable reclining chair. Having closed the distance between them, Godot leaned on the chair's back, causing it to shift and Ieharu to slide backwards. Slowly. They were practically face to face now.

"I've decided that it's going to happen tomorrow." He said, matter-of-factly. "I can't delay it any further, please understand that I really wish I could."

Ieharu simply stared in horror, the weight of Godot's words imprinting themselves onto his psyche. Could it be true? Is he serious? He sounded pretty serious. Looked dead serious, in fact. But his father would never put an assassin so close, right? ... but what if he didn't, or he made a mistake? What if it was all part of the plan? What if he was going to die?!

"I've grown to like you, young Ieharu, so this is about all I can do for you."

"But—!"

"You've got one day to live, or at least until the next time I see you. I'm giving you the opportunity to clear up whatever remaining regrets you might have. It really hurts my conscience to think about good men dying with regrets..."

As Godot spoke, Ieharu brought his hands to the sides of his face, a sound like that of a dying animal escaping his lips. One day?! It wasn't fair! He had a math test tomorrow that he'd already studied for. He had so many people to meet... so many friends to make... all of it for nothing. His hands traversed his head, moving from the sides of his face to his forehead. Tears came to his eyes at his next thought.

I'm still a virgin!

"Regardless, that doesn't stop me from doing what I'm paid to, I just like to get an extra minute of sleep later on. So, I suggest spending the night to give it some thought, just make sure you sleep good, alright?" Ieharu didn't respond, his hands still plastered to his forehead. "... Oh, and make sure you don't tell anybody like your brother or something. You don't want to get your family involved, else I'll be forced to... Well, I'm sure your a smart kid–in fact, I know you are." Again, Ieharu didn't even respond. Didn't move. Didn't dare to. Never in his life was he so intimidated by the presence of another.

After a momentary silence, Godot turned, releasing the chair and nearly causing Ieharu to fly off it as it snapped forward. "Guess I'll be seeing you tomorrow." Almost as an afterthought, he added: "Oh, and good luck on the quadratics test."


**



"Yoh, I'm not kidding. I'm serious." Ieharu threw his hands up, a gesture meant to implore. "Didn't you hear me?! He's going to murder us all!"

The boy was sitting atop his bed, covers wrapped around himself like a burrito. Only his face and hands were exposed. He looked like an Eskimo, wrapped in his layers. Standing across from him was literally his mirror image save for their hair color. It was his twin brother, the self-proclaimed "older brother" Ieyoshi, casually slipping on a T-shirt while laughing his head off. When it came to someone as eternally relaxed and laid back as Ieyoshi, "laughing your head off" meant a few soft, curt chuckles. If you weren't actively listening for it, you might even miss it.

"Pfft. Murder you, maybe." Ieyoshi's voice was gruff, his tone sober, his face stoic. It was as if someone had turned his "energy" dial way down and then broke it off. "He did say only one of us would be offed, right?" He turned from sizing himself up in the mirror to look at his brother, who hadn't yet responded. "Right, Haku?"

Ieharu sighed, his big brunette bushel of hair poking out from under the covers. "Right," he mumbled, dejected. He cast his eyes downward before speaking again, this time in a hushed whisper. "You'd save me, right?"

The response was immediate.

SLAP!

Almost instantly, Ieharu brought both hands to his left cheek, where Ieyoshi has unceremoniously slapped him, a look of surprise and anger fresh upon his face. "Yoh! What the fuck?!"

Ieyoshi took a stance, leaning to the side, hand gripping lightly the base of his skull, a somewhat exasperated expression overcoming his otherwise neutral countenance. Ieharu recognized it as his brother's lecturing pose. He'd seen it a million times before. "Look," his brother began, pointing at Ieharu's face. "He's obviously not going to kill you. Think about it." Ieyoshi brought his hands together, marking off his points by counting his fingers. "A, that no-good Tsuna might be stupid, but do you think he's stupid enough to bring a killer into the house? To sleep in our beds? Eat our food?"

"Hey!" Ieharu interrupted, his voice shrill. "Dad's not no-good!" He said, referring to their father, Tsunayoshi.

Ieyoshi shrugged, continuing, his voice as low and monotonous as a boring college professor's. "Whatever. B, the guy's been here for, like, two weeks already. If he wanted to kill you, why not get it over with quickly? Why play buddy buddy with us for nearly a month? C, we don't have time for this. Get up. We have that math test, remember?"

Though he nodded at a couple of his brother's well-articulated points, when Ieyoshi told him to get up, he responded by pulling the covers over his head and rolling back into bed. "I think I'm gonna be sick..." He mumbled, peeking out from under the sheets after a moment.

Ieyoshi sighed, grabbing his backpack by the strap and swinging it onto his shoulder in one smooth fluid motion. He then sauntered out of the room as if the universe owed him a favor. Sauntering seemed to be his natural form of locomotion. From his mannerisms and personality to the way he picked up his bag and walked out of a room, in Ieharu's eyes, his brother was the pinnacle of cool.

After hearing the customary slam of the downstairs door, there were several moments of blissful uninterrupted peace, with Ieharu nearly falling back asleep. Before he could drift fully into unconsciousness, however, he heard someone at the window. He could tell without looking that it was Ieyoshi. Reluctantly, Ieharu rolled out of bed, the frigid air biting into his exposed skin. Slowly but surely he made his way to the window. After a moment, he opened it.

"Ieharu." Ieyoshi was standing on the grass outside of their home, looking up at their shared bedroom window. Their bedroom was on the second floor.

"What? I said I'm not going."

"Yeah, I know. I just remembered something."

Ieharu raised an eyebrow. Ieyoshi had that look on his face again. The one he always got several dozen turns before he won at Monopoly.

Ieyoshi's lips morphed into a slight grin. In response, Ieharu gulped involuntarily. That grin was never a good sign.

"I know something you think I don't know. And it'll make you come to class, too."

Ieharu ducked down so that only his eyes shown over the windowsill, as if his brother were going to start hurling rocks. "Wh... what are you talking about?!"

There was a moment of silence before Ieyoshi responded, but when he did, his brother's eyes grew wide with fright. "I know who Ieharu likes."

Ieharu shot up, his upper body practically leaning out the window at this point. "W-What are you talking about?! I don't l-like anyone!"
"Yes you do."
"No I don't!"
"Then you should have nothing to worry about when I confess to them on your behalf... unless you can catch me, of course."

And with that, Ieyoshi turned and began walking away with that slow measured pace of his.

"Wait! Yoh! Don't! Stop!" Ieharu pleaded, but if his brother heard his protests, he didn't act like it. His fears of being assassinated evaporated instantaneously, replaced instead by the terror of complete social doom at the hands of his brother. Ieharu brought his hands to his face. Unlike his brother, he didn't think of himself as very cool, or smart, or anything. He didn't have many friends. No one respected him, but at least they left him alone. If Ieyoshi was serious about telling, and he's always serious...

Well, he'd never be able to show his face at that school again.

Like a hurricane, Ieharu threw on whatever clothes were lying around. He and his brother shared a room, and they were the same in size and height, so they shared apparel too. In roughly eight minutes time, Ieharu had gone from half naked to mostly ready for school. Brushing his teeth would have only slowed him down anyway. As he rushed towards the door, open book bag swinging off his shoulder, it began to dawn on him that, even if he were to run his very hardest, his brother had an insurmountable lead. Immediately, he began to regret not stopping his brother while he had the chance. Still, maybe there was hop—

Upon bursting through his front door, Ieharu tripped over his own feet and face-planted on the stairs outside. Slowly but surely, he raised himself up off the ground, propping himself up with one arm and holding his injured face with the other. He was trying his very hardest to resist the urge to cry, but it was yet another fight he just wasn't winning. That same bitter thought that always hobbled him reared its ugly head once more: the loser Ieharu has failed.

Little did he know, a shadow slowly crept up behind his unprotected back.

"Buongiorno, young Ieharu," his terrifying home tutor greeted him as casually as ever, his hands buried in the pockets of his jacket, "I didn't think you'd be so eager to go to school today, especially on such a terrible day like this." Godot looked up toward the sky, of which was blanketed in thick clouds. The air was moist from the remains of the previous night's downpour, and water glistened on the soaked grass and wet concrete. For his part, Ieharu yelped audibly at the sound of his name being called. Godot's pleasant demeanor would have eased the boy, had their last conversation not ended so terribly. Instead, his stomach did a backflip and his chest turned to ice. Gradually, he turned his head, once again looking over his shoulder. The feeling of deja vu was practically nauseating. The man always seemed to approach from his blind spot.

"M-mi-uh-G-g-g-godot... h-hi..." He managed to stutter his tutor's name, eyes wide with fear as he suddenly remembered: he was going to die today.

"Oh, by the way, about our little agreement last night... I got word from my client that there's been a change of plans." Again, there was that peaceful smile, as if all was right in the world. "It's sort of exciting, I suppose."

Iehari inhaled sharply. Deep in the recesses of his gut sparked the faintest glimmer of hope. "A change?" The pitch of his voice inflected as he spoke, making his question come out as more of a plea.

Godot nodded. "Yes," he replied, "a pretty big change. You see, I'm not going to kill you later." At that very statement, in one swift motion, Godot brought his hand out of his pocket, a black pistol in hand. All so suddenly, Ieharu found himself staring down the barrel of Godot's Beretta. That flicker of hope in his gut disappeared just as swiftly. Too scared to move, too scared to even think, Ieharu did what came natural.

He screwed his eyes shut.

There was a delay, however. Godot hesitated, although he smirked when he did so. "Seeing as you've accepted your fate already," he said, "I guess that must mean you don't have any more regrets. There's no special person in your life? No unfinished business with somebody close, not even your family? Nothing, eh?"

After several moments of silence devoid of a bullet to the face, Ieharu gathered that the question hadn't been rhetorical. Still, he didn't dare open his eyes. Maybe this way, he still had the chance to wake up from this nightmare.

From under his breath, the boy mumbled something.

"Speak up, boy," Godot demanded, "You're only getting one chance to say it, so spit it out!"

Somewhat startled at the command, Ieharu repeated himself, this time with a bit more volume. His kept his eyes closed. "W-why do you care about what I regret, M-mr. Godot?" Ieharu could almost swear he heard Godot chuckle.

"You'll understand if you die." With that cryptic statement, Godot rotated his wrist sideways and squeezed the pistol's trigger.

And that was it. A loud pop!. A flash of pain. Pressure around his forehead. And then nothing. Ieharu Sawada, son of Tsunayoshi Sawada and Kyoko Sawada, brother to Ieyoshi, friend to few, and most of all, still a virgin, died at that moment.

However, while dying, Ieharu regretted. He regretted parting with the world. He regretted what a waste his life had been. He regretted spending the time studying for a math test he'd never take. But there was one thing he regretted more than anything else. One thing that, even as the bullet pierced his skull and robbed him of life, he wished he had accomplished with all his heart.

I should have stopped Ieharu from confessing for me... from saying something stupid... I could have stopped him...

His body was cold before it even hit the ground.

... with a dying will.

On the other side of the street, several passersby screamed in horror. One was even so bold as to yell, finger pointing in violent accusation: "That thug just shot that kid!"

Ieharu's body slumped on the ground, blood pooling under his head. One second, he was certainly dead. But then in the next...

"REBORN!!!"

Ieharu literally exploded, most of his clothes burning away to ashes, his then-dead body springing to life like round two in any good video game's boss battle. Though he was still scrawny and mostly naked, he sported a look that'd never crossed his face before. His eyes were wide and full of determination, his pupils dilated, his irises practically glowing. He was grinding his teeth in seething rage. Most noticeable was the massive orange flame located smack dab in the middle of his forehead, the blaze shifting and pulsing to some unknown rhythm.

His sudden re-emergence from death and accompanying roar of rebirth startled everyone in the area, excluding Godot. One of them—an old woman—fainted where she stood.

"I'M GOING TO STOP IEYOSHI FROM SAYING SOMETHING STUPID!" He shouted at the air. "WITH MY DYING WILL!"

And with that, Ieharu sped off, his feet carrying him as fast as an Olympic athlete as he raced with all his might towards Ieyoshi and Namimori High.

Godot watched as the half-naked boy sped off like hell on wheels, and so did the rest of the neighborhood. People looked at Godot, flabbergasted at what they had just witnessed. Godot smiled at them affably.

"Things are going to be a lot more interesting around here from now on."

The setting changes from The Sawada Household to Japan

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mayu Kojima Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa
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In a flock of pandemonium, the school’s temporary aviary fled the grounds and rose into the sky – their escape witnessed by nearly none of the students, for they were all too focused on the most popular pastime which so happened to be sloppy, unadulterated violence. A cord was struck within her, something she ignored gracefully like many other things, and tearing her eyes away from the common birds (they had previously been her morning entertainment, but not any longer) she looked to the commotion including the famous (infamous?) Sawada twins.

Instinctively she placed her clenched fists over her skirt, keeping the material stuck to her thighs, and even if it may be unnecessary it had become habit after boarded the crowded trains of Tokyo far too many times. “This reminds me of something…” Mayu muttered, clutching her schoolbag of fake leather even tighter, her lips (lightly glossed) pressed together in her pause of recollection. “A manga?” Her voice rose, believing she had found the answer, and she nodded with a grin – proud of herself because this was definitely like Gintama or One Piece! …However, something was left to be desired, yet she couldn’t name the missing piece…maybe the twins needed to be taller? More muscular?

The images popped in her head in succession, welcomed with a grimace (the seven foot tall Sawada twins loomed over her within her imagination, their oversized biceps glistening with a day’s worth of sweat).

…May that day never come.

Shaking away the nightmare, Mayu forced herself back into reality, and was immediately throttled with a million words commenting on the fight including the various bets taking place in the background – and for once it seemed that Haku had some devout believers. “Good for him.” She spoke again to herself, forgetting that it wasn’t particularly normal to do when in public, and looked to the closet voice that she could recognize, belonging to Lala-lalala, who was as beautiful as she was confusing (to clarify, it was immensely, as confirmed by the general student population. seriously, who didn’t fancy Lala Wakahisa? Or Yume Hibari, or Lyndis Kyori, or Rosa Kuromaku, or … hey, doesn’t this school just have a lot of cute girls, plain and simple?).

“It certainly is, Lala-lalala-chan.” Mayu replied, chipper and lively, as if a small canary had been jammed down her throat and was influencing the tone of her voice – meanwhile, her words took on a life of their own, but she could stress about that later. “I got here early – I had morning practice! – and watched it all happen. A lot of people are saying that Haku has finally snapped, being the ‘runt’ or ‘fetus-twin’ and all, and is finally going to get revenge by mental-breakdown-killing Yoh.” Explaining in nearly a single breath, she inhaled deeply, puffing out her chest for a moment, before letting all the oxygen out in an exaggerated sigh. “…So they’ll probably be fine, right?” Ending with a question, she smiled at The Duchess, abandoning her train of thought completely, and proceeding with doing absolutely nothing to stop the mindless violence.




The setting changes from Japan to Namimori High

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mayu Kojima Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa
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"I guess, it's not your typical school day. What... fun?"
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No matter what the conundrum was blooming within that head of hers, Lala was smitten undeniably by the melodic attachment calling of her name. Those vivid eyes of red landed without pause upon the image of what she had known as... "Mayu-chan!" Her eyes curved into that of delight as the rumble and tumble of the twins had been whisked away from her immediate reality. Yes, like that of the weather, she was fickle as a fly, and she was bit dizzy due to her watching the roll... roll... roll... That's why the appearance of Mayu was well-appreciated."Ohayo!" Her lips matched that brightness of her eyes with that cordial smile.

The pink-haired girl before her was a frequent tickle to her senses, which she had never gathered as anything logical, but a transient feeling, a haunting which makes her tremble within. There was like static running its course through her body. Usually, this would imply that she must make herself scarce. There was also the inkling that there was something treacherous behind that canary-like cheer being presented. Her instincts directed her to such signs, yet she does not listen. The only thing which makes her resistant, to what her inner voices say, is the fact that she likes Mayu and that alone is simply enough for her to let everything be swept under the rug.

In any case, the Megaman slide, or rather the lively event had been described to her in a very interesting manner. There was Haku being described as a runt and a fetus within one sentence. An image flashed inside her thoughts, combining those two traits. Somehow, the vision turned out to be a miniature Godzilla with an awesome top of hair of course with Haku's face plastered via scotch tape. There was also Yoh wearing Joker's suit with the head of the Colonel, while yelling, that he wants apple milk. Somehow, she could not help but allow her thoughts wander, just a bit more. Those red eyes lit as she mentally traveled into the landscape of her making as it was leading her to the sprinkle-topped mountain of paper flowers. Yes, she was getting further and further until, she was snapped into the firm grip of reality, by the sound of a gusting wind courtesy by Mayu.

Like a butterfly's wings, her eyes fluttered regaining the consciousness of her current environment. There she was again off to her personal, La-La Land. Thinking back on what was said, she started to comprehend it at a proper pace and showed light concern for the younger girl. "Are you all right, Mayu-chan? There's no need to rush! I'm not going anywhere." She stretched her arms forward and then placed both of her hands on Mayu's shoulders. "But, thank you for telling me!" She patted the younger girl's shoulders in a friendly manner, before turning her head to the direction where Haku and Yoh should be. There was quite a crowd around them, that it was somehow impossible to get a clear view unless she squeezes herself along the thin gaps, and really, she wasn't keen on getting her uniform crumpled in the struggle to assert her curiosity. She could just take a look later online since, she could hear snaps of cameras and some of the students waving their phones around. This was turning quite into a circus. It made her wonder where the teachers are at this moment or the school staff.

"Hmm, I think they'll be fine." She said in assurance as her gaze returned to pink-haired girl, accompanied by a cheerful smile. These were the Sawada twins after all and she had heard that they were strong in their own right. Then, she remembered the image of Haku in only his underwear. Well, they might not be strong on that aspect "Physically perhaps, not sure about mentally though." Her voice was wrapped with the hint of hesitation, but just a bit. That earned her concern as her face that was a perpetuity of carefree fun, altered into that of worry. Letting her emotions swirl around, she removed her hands on Mayu's shoulder and instead made a cross with the arms over her chest. She was in a moment of thought of what she must be done. "I think I should check on them in any case." Somehow, she has a bad feeling. What could it might be?

She took a couple of deep breaths as she readied herself to plunge into the throng of people. It was rather adorable as her arms were now positioned as a makeshift pump for air, a representation of her imagination of course. Once, she was able to make certain that she was prepared for the hurdle she was about to enter, she stood properly and even straightened her back as a reflection of her determination. "I'll see you later, Mayu-chan!" She stated with a smile and began to move away from Mayu.

Her lithe walk changed into that of a light jog while waving at Mayu with her evanescent brightness and once she was satisfied. Her attention returned to what was before her as she lowered her hand and made an assessment of how to enter the crowd. This also reminded her of something.... That's right! She has yet to see Rosa and the others. Somehow, she could not help but laugh inwardly with a tone awkwardness. She has this feeling that Rosa might not be in the best of moods. She stopped for a moment and looked at the sky above and then to the ground where there were still some puddles, a proof of the dreary rain yesterday. Rosa was not fond of such weather. Hopefully, there would be little things that would raise her irritation. Now, that makes her wonder what she should do first... Check the twins or go look for Rosa and the others, and while she does so...

There was this foreboding feeling as she managed to catch a sliver of what it could probably pertain to as her eyes zoned in. "O.. Oh.."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chester Sterling Character Portrait: Mayu Kojima Character Portrait: Ryuu Morimoto Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Makoto Fujiki Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Aobane Kuroiobashi Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera Character Portrait: Luka Character Portrait: Lyndis Kyori Character Portrait: Yume Hibari
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When Ieharu came to his senses, several thoughts occurred to him nearly simultaneously. For one, he was virtually surrounded by a gaggle of students from his school. Some looked on with shock, others were shouting and screaming like fans at a sporting event, and others still were laughing uncontrollably. That tied directly into some other thoughts: he was at school. He was naked, save for his boxers—surely a gift of mercy from a higher power. He was also on top of Ieyoshi, his own traitorous fist raised into the air, though he didn't quite remember how it got there—

Suddenly, it all came flooding back to him. Godot! He'd shot him! Tried to kill him! And then he... he...

Elsewhere in the crowd, Enn stopped cheering. A disappointed look crossed his face, and he turned dejectedly towards Ryuu and Damien. "Aww, Haku's flame's gone out... that sucks!" The flame on Ieharu's head was disappearing now, and while it was going Ieharu looked less and less like he was going to murder his brother, which was boring. Though maybe Ieyoshi would kill Ieharu instead, and the fight would continue! Enn brightened up at the thought, his head turning back towards the fight. "Think Yoh'd kill Haku now?"

Damien was still awestruck by the events transpiring before his eyes. For the past couple of minutes his hands were locked tightly together while he remained standing, frozen in time, only able to watch. He didn't quite hear Enn's question. Ryuu, on the other hand, turned his head so fast it could have caused whiplash. "WHAT?!"

Ieharu's eyes widened as the last five minutes of his life replayed in his head in the span of a few seconds. Slowly, his gaze drooped until his eyes met his brother's, or at least would have met his brother's had Ieyoshi had his eyes open. Instead, the twin had his eyes closed, his upper lip twitching a bit, as if he were fighting to hold something back. Ieharu recognized that look all too well, gulping loudly. He didn't have much time to make this right.

"Uh, Y-Yoh... haha," his nervous chuckle only exaggerated his forced, toothy smile. When his brother didn't react, Ieharu continued, stuttering uncontrollably, abject terror having entered his expression. "Uh, n-now I know this is go-go..." He licked his lips, sweat beating atop his head. "... going to be hard to believe, but Godo—"

Ieyoshi exhaled loudly. To Ieharu, a dragon may as well have exhaled smoke from its nostrils, preparing itself for the coming barbeque. Just then, Ieyoshi opened his eyes. Very slowly. Very purposefully. His glowing amber-orange irises bored relentlessly into his brother's. Ieharu flinched involuntarily, his fist for some reason still in the air where he'd left it. Both boys eyes shifted to it at the same time. For his part, Ieyoshi still emanated a boring type of serenity. His expression was cold, even colder than usual. A typical person might mistake that for a calm mind. Ieharu knew much better, and he didn't have much longer to fix this before things got really bad. Perhaps he could continue to talk his way out of this?

"Uh—"

"Wow," called the jittery girl, Tomoe Tachibana, interrupting Ieharu in this most pivotal moment. "It's a fight!" The short second-year girl skipped toward the two, an unmistakable pink-colored BluScreen band in hand. "Mind looking over here, boys?" Slowly, Ieharu's gaze drifted over his shoulder and off a meter or so to the side. There always seemed to be some bad news to be had when he found himself looking over his shoulder. Not far behind him was something that he recognized as far more terrifying than just any ordinary highschool girl with a phone. It was them, that infamous group of second-years that everybody had come to know. Many thought of them with mixed feelings, but as far as Ieharu was concerned, they were the group to be feared most in life, bar none. Some knew them as the "Dolls," but many knew them as Queen Rosa and her most loyal subjects.

"Why, this looks like a disruption to the peace of the school," the lieutenant, Akako Hayashi, spoke aloud, "Isn't it, Rosa?" She had the look of a hyena, with a sneer that shook one in their shoes. The Queen, Rosa, appeared to hesitate for a second, frowning. Many eyes were on her, including Ieharu's, and her Dolls waited to see what she would say. Rosa swallowed, and then smirked. She chuckled, but this chuckle broke into a wretched laugh, one that seemed to drain any who heard it of all hope.

Rosa caught herself, putting her hand over her mouth and clearing her throat. Rosa took another step forward so she was in full attention, avoiding a puddle on the ground. "Oi, Rosa," an intimidating punk girl, Erin Saito, asked in a low voice "What are you gonna do?" Rosa merely opened up her handbag and took a long, flat device out. Then, she declared her intentions with one word:

"Paparazzi!"

All at once, several members of the crowd, loyal to Rosa or not, took out whatever mobile device they had and began taking pictures of the boys, mainly the half-nude Ieharu, from just about every angle. Rosa's girl, Tomoe, called out, "Say cheese!"

At first, Ieharu was confused. What, exactly, were they taking pictures of? That's when he looked down at himself. Right. He was naked, save his boxers. Okay.

It took a moment to click.

They were taking pictures of him!

The word "okay" just kept repeating in his head as he sit there, frozen, his fist still in the air, unable to decide what to do next. The thought of having his picture taken while he was in nothing but his boxers was too terrible a thought to contend with. He could almost feel the infinite flashes of the various cameras against his bare skin. After only a few seconds, he screwed his eyes shut. It was his default defensive maneuver, after all, when he was unsure how to move forward in a situation.

"Ieharu." When Ieyoshi spoke, his voice was much more grave than usual, emphasis on grave. Ieharu flinched again, forcing him to open one eye. For a moment, he'd almost forgotten about his brother, whom he was practically sitting on top of. The two shared an relatively comfortable silence then. "Comfortable" compared to the camera snaps and the laughing that surrounded them, anyhow. Though this entire situation confused him, the one thing he could count on to be familiar and predictable was his twin brother. Unfortunately, Ieharu had a feeling that what would come next would be anything but comfortable for him.

When Ieyoshi spoke, his next words came out very suddenly. It was undoubtedly a command, and it was absolute. "Get off of me."

Before he even finished his sentence, Ieyoshi brought his leg out from under Ieharu's lower body, cocked it at the knee, and smashed his heel into the boy's chest. From an outside perspective, it was a very clean maneuver. Succinct, orderly, with a professional delivery honed by several years of experience with back alley scrapping.

For Ieharu, of course, it was little more than pain incarnate, his momentary comfort shattered into a million pieces. Unable to control his trajectory, he practically flew backward, his skinny body colliding full force with the person standing not a meter away. With Rosa. The Rosa. The collision took the girl's legs out from under her, forcing her to fall backwards. She yelped in surprise. Unfortunately for them both, there was a shallow yet particularly large puddle of water waiting to catch her earthly plunge.

The result wasn't pretty. Rosa—Queen Rosa—flailed for a moment before falling straight into the puddle.

Ieharu avoided any water damage, landing on solid ground barely a few inches before the pool of dirty rainwater. Honestly? He saw stars. Fuzzy spherical blobs of light dotted his vision as the poor boy struggled to his feet, haggard coughs bursting violently from his throat, his small diaphragm struggling to catch a breath.

Yes, this is about what he expected. Ieyoshi never went anything but hard when it came to scuffles.

From where he lay, Ieyoshi blinked a couple of times, his instant of anger evaporating. As he did so, he also noticed that the sound of camera flashes, that incessant click click click, had ceased as well. A particularly annoying thought struck him at that moment, but he pushed it aside, to be dealt with later. For now, someone had their hand in his face, and he was too busy trying to calm himself to really pay attention to what they'd said, but after a moment it came back to him.

"Are you alright?"

Ieyoshi had never heard this voice before. Looking over, he realized he didn't recognize the face either. The person standing above him couldn't have been older than him. He looked petite, short, with tufts of uncharacteristically vivid blue hair poking out under a particularly large hood. It was obvious he was trying to hide his hair beneath the fabric, a choice Ieyoshi didn't particularly understand. Now, Ieyoshi had a good memory. At least, that's what he told himself. He may not remember people's names, but he could certainly recognize any face he'd seen before. This person didn't look like one of the second or third years, and he was fairly sure he'd at least seen all the first years once at the very least. So who was this kid?

Ieyoshi shook his head, dismissing the train of thought. Whatever. It didn't matter now anyway. He accepted the boy's outstretched hand, offering his thanks in the form of a nod. He could have gotten to his feet of his own accord, but this manner of kindness would not be forgotten.

At around the same time, the other twin, Ieharu, got to his feet, both hands holding his chest, where he'd been kicked. His soft amber-orange eyes darted up to meet Ieyoshi's for but a moment before darting to either side, eyeing the crowd of people. Ieyoshi knew better than anyone that his brother didn't do well in crowds. Without wasting another moment, Ieyoshi cleared the distance between them. After a second, the twins stood side-by-side. Unfortunately for them, the others had begun to snap pictures again. Some were even capturing video, holding their phones above their heads and laughing.

"I'm sorry, Yoh," Ieharu muttered, his eyes downcast. "I'm so sorry."

Ieyoshi didn't respond. Instead, he simply started unbuttoning his jacket. In an instant, the article of clothing found its way on top of Ieharu's head. "Put that on," Ieyoshi commanded, his hands moving now to his own belt buckle.

"Yoh, wait, what are you doing?!" Ieharu protested, but again Ieyoshi didn't respond. In a second, he'd slipped out of his shoes and pants, the latter of which also ended up on Ieharu's head.

"You take the shoes, I keep the socks," he began, "you take the pants, I keep the underwear. You take the jacket, I keep the shirt. Sound fair?"

Ieharu stared for a moment, completely nonplussed, as his brother somehow made standing in your underwear in front of a crowd of people look like a fashion shoot. How did he look so damn confident, even now? Even in this situation? The moment of shock didn't last long, however. Graciously accepting the gifts of clothing, Ieharu slipped on the articles and mashed his somewhat dirty feet into his brother's shoes.

Now it was Ieyoshi who was partially naked. His boxers were black with yellow letters that read "I'M BATMAN, BITCH" across the back. One of the so-called "paparazzi" of students saw this and decided to snap a picture with his phone. Unfortunately, he didn't realize he was well within arm's reach of Ieyoshi when he did.

Ah, that's right. The annoying thought from earlier. It was time to deal with it.

When Ieharu saw that grin part his brother's face, the one he called the "supervillain smirk," he looked over at the other boy, the one with the camera, a silent prayer running through his mind.

The boy seemed to notice it too, because he gave Ieyoshi a somewhat innocent look, his eyes growing wide, the Sawada twin seemingly towering over him. Suddenly, Ieyoshi sprung into action, grabbing the boy by the collar with one hand, pulling him close. As if executing a dance, Ieyoshi's other hand, fingers balled into a fist, were waiting right there to meet the boy's face. Again and again Ieyoshi punched him. His fist came back with blood after the first hit. After the third, it was clear that Ieyoshi had broken the boy's nose, his every fist fall met with a small misty plume of crimson. With the fifth, there were cries from the crowd for him to stop. And so he did. Not because they told him to, of course, but he'd planned to strike the boy five times. Not four. Not six. Five would do. Five would send a message.

The boy had gone limp in his hands, so Ieyoshi dropped him, his body crumpling to the ground. He then bent down and picked up the boy's phone. The beaten kid had dropped it after the second punch.

Ieyoshi eyed it for a moment. It was a fairly new model of the BluScreen. A very nice phone. Very expensive, especially on a high schooler's budget. Excellent. This would make for a perfect example.

Seeing the look on Ieyoshi's face, Ryuu's eyes widened. He dashed forwards, weaving through the crowd towards the Sawada twin and, more importantly, the student he'd just had in his death grip. "Oh Shit—"

A grin came on Damien's face after witnessing Ieyoshi's usual and heavily choreographed flare for the dramatic. It was truly tempting to wreak havoc on these students for laughing at the twins and taking pictures; however, if he started fighting, then he wouldn't be able to manage as much restraint as Ieyoshi just had. Breaking the bones of his entire class probably wouldn't look good on his student record, either.

A small gust of wind touched Damien's face, his hair swaying ominously in the breeze. He slowly shifted his gaze, realizing that the individual next to him, Ryuu, had started heading towards where Ieyoshi stood. Nope. That wasn't allowed. "You see, Yoh is pretty busy here," he said as he bent over in a track athlete's running stance. He visualized a track, a referee pointing a gun in the air counting down. "He doesn't need any interruptions." Three, two, one. Like an olympic sprinter, he surged forward and within a fraction of a second he expertly maneuvered through a space between Ryuu and another student that had just opened up. He shifted his weight to rotate his entire body, extending his right hand forward with his palm facing Ryuu. He felt the weight of the opposing boy's chest as Ryuu's momentum came to a grinding halt. He followed up by digging his feet into the ground, forcing Ryuu backwards. "Back off," he commanded.

"Fuck you, no," Ryuu snarled, eyes narrowing in a glare at the teen blocking him. His glare shifted towards Ieyoshi an instant later, and he attempted to shove Damien to the side, but it was too late. Ieyoshi chucked the phone across the school's perimeter fence with all of his might, said fence being located a dozen or so meters behind the crowd. He hurled it with such force that it smashed into the window of a parked car on the other side of the street. The small device exploded into pieces of metal, electronics, and graphene. In response, the car's alarm started blaring in the relative distance. It was like background music to Ieyoshi. Its chaotic qualities paralleled his mood quite well.

Ryuu cursed. One did not simply smash a phone like that, dammit! His glare shifted to Damien, angry at the teen for blocking him.

Ieyoshi turned his head to the left, the small bones in his neck shifting with it, emitting several soft crack!s in quick succession as the crowd looked on, some clearly in abject terror. Ieyoshi couldn't see a single phone pointed in his or Ieharu's direction any longer.

Good. He widened his grin into a sneer, none of its warmth or depth doing anything to defrost the chill emanating from his eyes and he stared at individual members of the crowd. When one of them dared to meet his eyes, he snapped, just as he'd rehearsed in the mirror. Ah yes, it was finally time for the coup de grace.

He shook his entire upper body with the force of his next word, spittle flying from his mouth, his expression ravenous. "FUCK—" It had the intended effect. The people closest to him literally jumped backwards, as if he were a ghoul. He didn't miss a beat, continuing his thought. "—you lookin' at?"

That's when people stopped looking at him. Good. Only a short blonde haired student continued to glare, eyes shifting from Damien to Ieyoshi and back, but the Sawada twin paid him little attention.

He looked down at the kid he'd accosted, his voice icy. "I better not see any fucking pictures, or I'll fucking break you." His words were simple. They weren't outlining a threat. They were explaining an inescapable reality. Without further ado, Ieyoshi turned on his heel, the move as elegant as a leaf twirling in the breeze, and began walking towards the main school building. Honestly, he didn't care if they kept taking pictures. He didn't care if they talked. He didn't care that he was in his favorite batman undies. These were all meaningless trivialities to him. But Ieharu cared. And if they were to make his brother feel inadequate or ashamed or embarrassed, they might as well be assaulting him, too. That's how it worked with twins, after all. They were bound by something thicker than friendship, or family, or even blood. Ieyoshi thought of his brother as an extension of himself, and a part of his core being. Attacks on the Sawada twins would simply not be tolerated. Not without swift and, if he had anything to do with it, very violent retaliation.

As he strolled, as leisurely as one would through a park, Ieyoshi lost interest in whatever schoolyard foolishness was transacting behind his back. People had gotten the message, certainly.

They'd think twice before acting foolish around his family.

With the tail ends of his black batman boxers picking up with the wind, he made his way to up the steps towards the large double doors that constituted the school's main entryway.

For his part, Damien took Ieyoshi walking away as his cue to leave as well. Ryuu's attempt to push past him was admirable, but it just wasn't gonna happen so long as Damien drew breath. He merely leaned into Ryuu's strength, overriding it with his own and forcing the other boy backwards, inch by inch. Damien couldn't help the smirk that creased his lower countenance. In this contest of toughness, it was clear who the victor was. "Step back." He ordered once again, his tone unyielding. He gave Ryuu a light shove. It was light by Damien's standards, but the other boy ended up shuffling backwards a few steps and colliding with another one of the students in the crowd. He hadn't meant to be so rough, but oh well. Losing interest, Damien turned ran up to join his friend, turning to face the opposite direction as he did, his eyes trained at the crowd. He was walking backwards up the stairs at this point, his balance excellent.

Ryuu growled under his breath and started to run towards them, but it was to no avail.

"That's all folks," Damien announced, reaching in a pouch alongside his jeans. He grabbed two circular gray balls the size of marbles from it, brought his arm up, and slammed the balls to the ground. A plume of smoke immediately sprung up and spread over the area, the coughs of the students ringing out through the air like the end of a rap album. Ryuu screeched to a halt, not wanting to enter the smokescreen.

Ieharu watched the two make their gaudy exit, half-way relieved, half-way horrified, and infinitely thankful to his brother for the gift of clothing. Without thinking, the now-clothed boy rushed over to the student that had the misfortune of crossing his brother's wrathful gaze. He better than anyone knew how bad things could get when his brother decided to play rough.

To be frank, there was blood everywhere, and Ieharu wasn't quite sure how to proceed. He began to panic, gnawing on his lower lip, wondering if the poor guy would die.

"Haku!" Aobane called, waving to his friend as he pushed through the crowd. Ieharu looked up at the sound of a familiar voice calling his name. When he saw who it was, he couldn't help but smile. With such a familiar face to help, things would be okay now. Aobane slowed his pace as he approached his friend, whom was now mostly clothed in his brother's uniform. Though Aobane couldn't see much from where he had stood behind the crowd that had accumulated around the scene, once he managed to place himself beside Ieharu, he narrowed his eyes slightly in the direction of the crowd that parted quickly to allow the other Sawada through. Clearly none of the other students wanted to be near him, and by the looks of Yoh's bloodied fist and the poor sap who lay on the ground with crimson liquid still flowing from his nose, they had good reason to.

Aobane continued to watch him with a frown for a few moments, but then turned his attention back to Ieharu and placed his hands on each of the boy's shoulders. "Are you okay? What was that all about? Or... well... I think more importantly right now..." Aobane began, his brows furrowed, with the concern in his voice rather clear. "We should get Chitose to the nurse. I mean, like right now."

He let out a small, nervous laugh as he removed one hand from Haku's shoulder and pointed in the direction of the so-called Queen whom Ieharu had crashed into only a short while ago. Ieharu got the message, nodding once in agreement. Aobane turned then, leaning down beside the injured Namimori student and lifting him into a sitting position, pulling one of the boy's arms over his shoulder. "Better get him to the nurse! Let's go, Haku!" he said with a small smile, though there was a slight but unmistakable tone of urgency in his voice as he looked up at his friend.

Ieharu followed Aobane's example, taking the injured boy's other arm over his shoulder and attempting to lift, but when he did so, pain exploded from his chest, nearly causing him to stumble and drop the already-injured student.

"Ow," Ieharu hissed, wincing. Aobane gave his friend a wide-eyed, worried expression. Had he gotten hurt when him and his brother were fighting? He hadn't been standing in the right spot to get a full view of brawl, but it wouldn't come as a shock to Aobane if Ieyoshi had gone a little too hard on his brother. "Sorry." Ieharu couldn't help but grin goofily, feeling somewhat dumb. "I think I might not be so okay."

Ryuu coughed away the last of the smoke, a dark scowl on his face. The rational part of his brain was wondering where the hell Damien got smoke bombs from, but the larger more angry part of his brain was threatening to take over to run after the disappearing duo in order to beat the shit out of them. The theatrics reminded him of memories from long ago, and when Sawada's lackey blocked Ryuu the feeling of helplessness and rage felt terribly similar to back then. He gritted his teeth at the feeling, angry with himself for not stopping it, although how could he, when it happened so fast? He hadn't felt that way for a long time.

Not that it mattered now. Ryuu closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, forcing rage and other disturbing thoughts away and locking them in the back of his mind, allowing rational thought to resume its reign. Running after them wouldn't help a damn thing, and he wasn't going to be able to win in a two on one battle, either. He also had no idea where they were anyway, and, like it or not, Ryuu knew that Ieyoshi had the right to retaliate. Breaking a phone and a car was going a bit far, though. Still, there were too many things to consider, like the fact that he'd been protecting his twin brother.

Ryuu forced his attention elsewhere, thinking about the injured student. Right now, he should just do whatever he could, like bring the student to the nurse's office and check if the kid's phone was salvageable.

Tension fading from his body, Ryuu let out what sounded like a sigh and moved towards the two students—Aobane and the younger Sawada twin, the who was pretty much the cause of the whole fucking mess—pausing on the way to collect his bag and hitch it over his shoulder. He was trying his very hardest to ignore the sour taste the whole ordeal left in his mouth as he approached.

Bring the student to the nurse's office, then check up on the phone before class starts. Right. He could do that.

"I can help," he offered gruffly, coming to a stop beside the three boys.

"Ryuu!" Aobane exclaimed a little louder than necessary, relieved to have his classmate come to the rescue. Ryuu gently took the injured boy's arm—Chitose, wasn't that his name?—from Ieharu and pulled it over his shoulders instead.

Ieharu was thankful for this, though the other student, Aobane called him "Ryuu," seemed to radiate an aura of anger that was a bit scary. All the while, he forgot about the person he'd accidentally rammed into. He'd forgot all about Queen Rosa...

The setting changes from Namimori High to Japan

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Enon Nakada Character Portrait: Mayu Kojima Character Portrait: Lilith Dusk Character Portrait: Aobane Kuroiobashi Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa
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The palpitations struck at midnight, forcing him awake in another place of vague familiarity where the creaking bones of machinery sang its lullaby of life’s mundane tragety. Humans were sectioned into compartments, mimicking the evolving technology, and the exertion thinned their hearts until they became hollow. They observed the world with gouged eyes, the business folk like carved gourds, and he let the train return him home whilst staring back into the compartment’s passengers, watching as they wore themselves down to inhumanity, and let themselves become spirited away by witching hour.

By the time he was expected to arrive at the school’s gates the blood vessels of his sclera had begun to swell; the tiny, tiny freckles of red dilating until the white expanses became webbed with the tale of his sleepless night. His body – the neglected exterior – hung from the membrane of his soul, worn and thin, muttering from within: when did you feed me last?

Enon didn’t reply, his memory crowded with the background music of the artificial heaven surrounding him, where people could trade their lives for comfort and convenience and pretend to shower one another with sweet affection. When he ceased walking in the straight line, that vengeful muscle in his chest began to race again, acting simultaneous with the numbness in his feet, all on account to the wandering of his mind – school? No, there was no desire to walk in those halls and suffocate himself today. He exhaled, slow and deliberately, and turned to the direction of a nearby bakery, deciding to end any questioning of when he last ate something, and henceforth sooth the rest of his thoughts with hot tea and fresh bread.

Despite how the bakery was built close to Namamori High it became one of the few public places he designated as acceptable, bordering on comfortable when the familiar face of a certain employee was there. Lilith Dusk was a well-known name even at a school she didn’t attend, but it wasn’t her popularity that made his feelings towards her step out of neutral ground. He couldn’t explain the phenomenon; however, it seemed as if the woman’s shadow held a different reality that what she wore on her face, opposite to the angelic presence she was known for.

Although he was wrapped in layers of clothing he didn’t remove his coat upon entering the bakery, comforted by feeling hidden from the eyes of the humanoids invading the space. Corporate slaves and housewives alike already stealing the space’s oxygen and polluting it with hushed conversation and he shoved his hands in his pockets when standing in line, waiting patiently in anticipating of speaking to Lilith today, and filling his empty stomach with a serving of melonpan.



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When Lala grabbed her shoulders she visualized electrons being wretched away from their atoms, left stranded as invisible bolts of lightning stole their place and darted in-between the fine fibers of her uniform until the madness of static electricity could ghost over her arms. Naturally the upperclassman had been granted superhuman powers of Zeus, forcing Mayu to seal her lips and listen carefully to a sound that wasn’t the stream of her endless consciousness or the brawl continuing in the background. Blinking away her astonishment, the edges of her mouth eventually wavered away from the shock of physical contact and into more jovial territory, and carelessly she smiled, somewhat proud of her summarization of the morning.

Following Lala’s eyes she watched the scene continue to unfold in silence, raising her brows only in response to the moment when Rosa’s balance was sabotaged with the dryness of her uniform. A bold of forewarning ran through her, as if the anxiety residing in her spine was diligently advising her to maintain a safe distant from the school’s queen for the day (unless she got the chance to compliment the other girl’s boots, which could only be a source of envy). Lala’s reassurance didn’t placate the foreboding though, not when the ‘paparazzi’ oiled their gears and began following orders, and she could only imagine that this would result in a string of misfortune: forever would the relations between the Holy Monarchy and the Sawada Twins be tarnished, and thus the kingdom of Namamori would be split down the middle and thrown in a hundred years’ war.

"Mentally, huh?” Dazed, her response was empty, her energy only returning when Lala took her hands away from her shoulders. “Yeah! I suppose twins would be pretty close anyways.” Mayu added, the smile returning to her visage with a renewed vigor, although it diminished warily when watching the other begin to prepare to confront the messy situation. Perhaps Lala would literally shake some sense into the twins, and henceforth prevent the approaching social calamity to protect their average, everyday lives as High School students. “You can do it, Lala-chan!” And when the girl disappeared into the erratic crowd, Mayu called out to her with all the encouragement she could muster from the bottom of her heart, waving just as fervently back to her – and jumping into the air for good measure.

Lala was about to enter the fray after all...she needed all the good luck she could get.

And how true that was. Once Yoh transformed into a Yakuza member with a peculiar taste in underwear, throwing punches and infecting the land of Namamori with more violence, her heart began to race; beating in a skipping pattern of one-two-four. Yet her hands didn't shake, and beads of sweat never down her neck, but she did wince at the final punch, convinced that the student may mysteriously ‘transfer’ the next day. Yikes – definitely time to check out of here, lest the authorities show up ready to interrogate everyone in sight. Mayu began to wander from the spectacle, only to become distracted by the sight of plain indoor shoes, indoor shoes that traditionally would never wander from the safety of clean, polished floors and disinfectant.

When she looked up from the ground, her jaw lost a bit of its strength and her eyelids lifted, letting her eyes appear larger and larger and – (well, luckily it wasn’t to the extent that they would fall out onto the floor). “Aobane! ….-kun!” Straightening her back, she managed to narrowly dodge the unforgivable act of forgetting to formally attach fondness to the end of her classmate's name, and inside her imagination she pictured herself capturing a baseball while the referee shouted ‘safe!’ at the top of his lungs. Turning her head towards the dying action, she began piecing the situation together, and her facial expression relaxed.

“So you rushed out here to see the commotion.” The tone, sharpened and bitter, was a poor attempt at teasing the other first year, but she soon lost track of her train of thought, wavering at her own indifference. Returning to her normal, smiling composure, she ignored the battle's finale to talk to the student who had become one of her personal favorites – if simply because he was a radiant, bundle of joy of endless rambles for a million topics. “Don’t worry. They’ll be okay – physically.” Repeating Lala’s words Mayu nodded and clenched her fist, her other hand now burdened with the task of holding her schoolbag alone. “…Probably. As long as no one tells the more intimidating Hibari twin."