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Katekyo Hitman REBORN!: Undying Will

Namimori High

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a part of Katekyo Hitman REBORN!: Undying Will, by Lloyd999.

Stay in school kids.

Lloyd999 holds sovereignty over Namimori High, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,298 readers have been here.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

http://reborn.wikia.com/wiki/reborn_wiki

Setting

The high school of which a majority of the characters go.
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Namimori High

Stay in school kids.

Minimap

Namimori High is a part of Namimori.

21 Characters Here

Ieyoshi Sawada [10] "Hmm... you know... you're beginning to piss me off."
Ieharu Sawada [9] "Are you sure I'm Haku, dad? You sure?!"
Rosa Kuromaku [8] "Look at me! Am I not the embodiment of perfection?"
Damien Gokudera [7] That's not Vandalism, that's art!
Yume Hibari [7] "Not everything is what it seems."
Enn Arasaka [6] "Hahaha, Let's play~!"
Lyndis Kyori [6] "Eh, I've done that once."
Akamatsu Hiroshi [5] "Who am I?"
Shou Arasaka [4] "I got a new hairstyle... it doesn't look bad, does it?"

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera
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Even after yesterday's storm, dew still topped the grass so early in the morning. Damien sighed, taking slow steps towards the entrance of the warehouse.

"Finally," he said, crumpling up the hand drawn map that lead him to this location. He sighed again as he felt the damp ground beneath his feet slip into his shoes and soak his socks like a sponge in water. Wet socks were a feeling that anyone could hate. He placed his hands upon the warehouse's large doors, felt the cold surface of it, savoring it for a second, then gave them a slight push. They slid open gradually, like the final level in some video game's boss battle, creaking with an unpleasant sound. The only thing he could see was darkness ahead of him; however, he knew that he had to continue forward. Be ready for anything raced through his mind as he entered this suspicious warehouse. This was an all too unfamiliar location without any guide as to what would happen next. He treaded forward cautiously, prepared for anything.

SLAM!

The doors behind him slammed shut, leaving him trapped in this abandoned warehouse. He merely stood there unamused as total darkness enveloped the room. Everything was pitch black and all remained silent. The echoes of his own breath rang through the air. A voice soon broke the silence.

"Are you ready, Damien?" An all too familiar voice rang from a higher plane.

"You know it," Damien replied confidently.

A flickering light came to life, accompanied by a slight buzzing sound. A second light followed this same procedure. The buzzing noise rang in his ears as the two lights flipped on and off. These two lights produced a beam shining down on two dolls. Both looked like the Vongola Decimo, Tsunayoshi Sawada. Upon further examining the dolls, he saw a large label hung around both of their necks. The one of his left said "Ieharu" while the one of the right said "Ieyoshi". With both of these lights on, he was able to examined some of his surrounding. The floors were wooden, these dolls both sat an equal amount of distance from him, each sitting in chairs, and they both had something sticking out of them. What protruded from the dolls was a long thin strip of material. He eyes widened as he figured out what this was about.

"Bombs!" He yelled.

"You have thirty seconds to save both, son," shouted the voice.

Pssssstttt!

He glanced down at the ground before him and saw two red sparks that were just lit. They darted in opposite directions, one to the left and the other to the right towards both of the dolls. Instead of going directly for the wires, Damien darted forward to get a gauge of the size of the room. Thirty seconds was plenty of time to prevent both of the explosions if he could get a good angel to--

As he moved forward, his right foot sunk into the ground. In that moment, a compartment opened up from the floor next to his foot. Four dynamite bombs shot up to the height of his face with lit wires about to explode.

"Sh--!" he exclaimed.

Instead of panicking, Damien quickly grabbed his two knives twice the size of his arm and pulled them up. He's faced this type of danger before and have learned the mistakes of overreaction. The best course of action would be to do what he can to lessen the impact of this upcoming blow as much as possible. He brought both of his arms in and crossed them to form an X directly in front of his face.

BOOM!

The heat and force of the explosion surged through his body, hurling him backwards. He slid on the ground, causing him a brief flash of pain in his back. Before he even came to a stop, he jumped back to his feet and immediately caught his balance. He pressed forward, accustomed to pain like this, especially since this wasn't his first time getting through one of his father's crazy training regimens.

"You have about twenty seconds," rang the voice while the sparks continued to move swiftly towards the dolls.

Once again, Damien ran ahead to the center of the room without heading in either direction. A normal man would have run straight towards one of the dolls, but his father said save both of them. There could be a variety of traps between the both of them. The center trap was triggered meaning that it was less likely to have another and would be a safer route to take. His father even said before: "Lightning never strikes in the same place twi--"

With an awareness honed by constant training, he noticed it. Right as his foot slid slowly down again without completely touching the ground. He prepped himself for his next move. Another trap; however, this time the small sticks of dynamite were much larger than before.

A normal person would have panicked. May have placed up defense or yelled in disbelief.

A normal person would be dead.

BOOM!

But Damien was not a normal person, and this too was something he had prepared for. With practiced elegance and quick reflexes, he dropped to the floor as soon as his right foot his the ground. He rolled to the right and dodged the majority of the explosion, skirting most of the damage. Without pause, he regained his footing and his composure.

"Tsk tsk tsk, you're wasting time going that way. Prioritize saving them first! Not yourself! Fifteen seconds left!"

"Fine then," Damien said to himself as he let out a sigh. Roughly twelve seconds remained. The amount of time left combined with the distance between the dolls would be impossible to reach them by foot. While remaining calm, Damien reached into both of the side pouched held by his jeans. It's always better to bring more gear you may need instead of not having it at all. He pulled out two kunais, one in each hand. A nearly impossible shot to take, but he was the type of guy that made the impossible possible.

"Seven... six... five," the voice rang out ominously.

He looked at both bomb wires gradually getting closer to both Ieyoshi's and Ieharu's dolls. It's now or never, life or death, victory or failure for them. Damien continued forward toward until he stood even between both dolls. Once he reached that spot, with all of his leg strength, he leaped into the air. Pulling his agile body up while using his arm strength to spin, he spun in a clockwise direction. Using his precise aim honed through practice, he threw the first Kunai towards Ieyoshi's doll. The kunai zipped through the air in the direction of the wire. Immediately, he shifted his gaze towards Ieharu's doll. As soon as he hit the ground, he spun counter clockwise once, and let go of the Kunai.

Ding!

The first Kunai gave a sound as it hit the ground right before Ieyoshi's doll. Damien turned his gaze and looked back. The Kunai cut the wire, separating the spark from actually reaching the doll. Success! He turned back around to admire having cut Ieharu's wire as well--

BOOM!

The fluffy cotton remains of Ieharu's doll came raining down while the Kunai he threw was forced to the side by the explosion. He failed at saving Ieharu. He failed, and he was all too familiar with what would happen next.

"One alive, one dead," said the approaching voice. All of the lights in the warehouse flipped on and Damien shifted his head in the direction of the voice. He saw his father, Hayato Gokudera, approaching him with an annoyed expression on his face. "I would've respected you more if you would've thrown both kunai simultaneously instead letting one of them die."

Damien frowned a bit, knowing full well he wouldn't get any praise from saving one of the future Vongola heads. He body was still a bit sore from the exercise; however, the years of explosions, battle, and pain allowed him to regard otherwise crippling pain such as this to be nothing more than a minor annoyance.

"Look son! I need you to understand this! You have to protect the future heads of the Vongola! Just as I have!" He continued, yelling his point. "Your job is as twice as hard as mine! I need you to be even better than I was! You have two tenths to protect! Save both, not just one!" Gokudera flicked a switch closer to the wall. The warehouse doors flung open. Without saying a word, Gokudera walked off and left Damien lying on the floor. Gokudera briefly stopped, looking back at his son. "Don't be late for school; it starts in a couple of hours. Be ready for another training session tomorrow."

**


"I got to find a way to save both," Damien mumbled under his breath, preoccupied, as if he were in a trance. Suddenly, his eyes snapped to the side, his brow furrowing. Before he could see it, before he could smell it or touch it, he could hear it. Hear... something. Whatever it was, it was approaching at a rather hurried pace. Though it wasn't trying to hide its presence, it was moving very lightly across the ground, as if to avoid detection. As if it didn't want to be heard.

Though his thoughts seemed to span entire minutes, adrenaline still pumping the morning's training session, his moment of realization was just that. A moment. A normal person might not have even noticed the brief pause in Damien's step, or the way he quickly scanned his surroundings before resuming his brisk pace.

As he thought, something really was coming. He could hear it plainly now. Though he didn't look backwards at his pursuer, he stuffed his hands in his pockets, preparing himself for a fight.

And he wasn't one to lose.

Making a fist in his pocket, Damien turned to meet his target, but caught himself at the last moment. "Yoh?!" He said, somewhat startled.

Approaching Damien with an uncharacteristically sprightly jog was none other than Ieyoshi Sawada, one arm moving back and forth in rhythm to his footfalls, the other stuffed hand-deep into his pocket. When Ieyoshi heard the familiar voice call his name, he slid in to a halt. The unintentional elegance of the move caught the eye of a trio of girls who were passing by, though Ieyoshi paid them no mind.

"Sup, Troy," he said, his voice as gruff and low-energy as always. Damien was perhaps Ieyoshi's closest friend. Ieyoshi was also one of the few people allowed to address Damien by his middle name without consequences.

Damien offered the back of his fist—their form of a greeting. With practiced timing, Ieyoshi met it with the back of his own. It was something they've been doing since grade school. Still, something seemed off about him. Damien knew Ieyoshi, and he seemed more... intense than usual, as if he were in a determined rush.

Ieyoshi threw a curt look over his shoulder before returning his eyes to Damien, his expression impenetrable. "Hey, do you mind running the rest of the way to the school with me?" Without waiting for confirmation, Ieyoshi took off. He was moving faster than before, probably in an attempt to make up for lost time. Plus, he knew his friend could easily keep up if he chose to.

It didn't even take Damien a second to react to Ieyoshi's request. It had become almost an instinct instilled by his father to react to the needs of both the twins. The importance of ensuring order, protection, and their overall well-being was an ideal pushed by his father since he was in diapers. Damien immediately bolted ahead to catch up to Ieyoshi . It took him only a quick second to match his friend's pace. This sure was an unusual way to start the day.

"What's the rush, Yoh?" Damien asked.

"Just a precautionary measure," he responded, thinking back on the morning's conversation with his brother. Though it was unlikely that Ieharu would stand much of a chance of catching up to him, he was fairly confident that his threat would at least motivate his brother to get out of bed and come to school, which was the goal in Ieyoshi's strategy.

"Where's Haku? Rare to see you two apart." He glanced around. "Did he oversleep again?"

Ieyoshi snorted in disdain. "Something like that." As they sprinted past other bleary-eyed bag-toting students, they neared the entrance to their destination. It was a school, of course. The place was huge, easily spanning two or three blocks. Past the ashen gunmetal gates was a miniature city of buildings, some of them a dozen stories high. Some of them sporting the school's logo. The largest of the buildings, flanked on either side by structures nearly as tall, sported the word "Namimori" across the top in a glorious golden font, subscripted by the words "Scholastic International High School". The place was an upscale private school, and for the longest time had been exclusively for privileged kids. However, in order to secure its next round of major funding in the form of a check from a firm known as "CEDEF Holdings Incorporated," they had to start awarding scholarships to... well, everyone else.

Ieyoshi cracked a smile. For anyone else, it may have been a rare sight, but around Damien, the boy always seemed to loosen up. "Haku's playing sick again."

Damien smirked in reaction. "Typical Haku," he chuckled as he thought of Ieharu pretending to be sick. He recalled a time earlier in the school year when Ieharu had to give a presentation. The kid tried to give his best impression of a sick man claiming to have the flu with marker chicken pox dots over his face. He mixed up the symptoms with chicken pox. Both Ieyoshi and Damien dragged him out of the bed to school, gave him a good pep talk and were able to encourage him to perform well. And he did. A real orator, that one.

Once they made it to the front entrance, they duo came to a stop simultaneously. "Where to next?" Damien asked. "Should we just run in?" He mused, chuckling. Although he didn't understand Ieyoshi was so intent on sprinting to school, he just went with it. Precautionary or not, he trusted him enough

His ears perked up suddenly. His senses were razor sharp, but none more so than his hearing. It started as something behind him, something far away and faint. Just like before when he detected Ieyoshi, there some sort of anomaly approaching. Judging by the steady increase in octave, this thing was coming at a very rapid speed and making quite a bit of noise. Was it a person? No, it was moving as fast as a car. Maybe an animal? Nah. Motorcycle made more sense, but it didn't sound like one. Nothing really could fit the profile of what was heading. What could possibly be coming this way at such an inhuman pace?"Hey Yoh," he said, turning to his companion. "you hear that?"

With one foot in past the school's front gate, Ieyoshi turned. All he could hear were the sounds of chattering students intermingled with the normal hustle and bustle of an urban city; however, he knew better than to doubt Damien's senses. His friend could certainly be paranoid at times, his senses were never outright wrong. "What is it?" Ieyoshi was genuinely concerned, though going from his voice alone, he just sounded bored.

"Something strange coming, I think. It's making sounds that don't fit in with everything else around here." He kept looking around, waiting for the source to show itself. "And it's coming really fast." He pointed down the road they'd just sprinted up from. He squinted, trying to get extend his sight range by just as much as possible. By now, students further down the road were taking notice of the "thing," whatever it was. And then, suddenly, it revealed itself over the horizon. Damien's jaw dropped as he realized he recognized the something. "Is that... Haku?!"

"What?!" Using his hand as a makeshift visor, Ieyoshi studied the area Damien was pointing towards. For a moment, he saw nothing. Just some parked cars, a few trees, and odd looks on the faces of some students in the distance. And then he saw him. He saw his brother.

"No way," Ieyoshi muttered, his voice dripping with incredulity. "No way."

Could it be? Did his eyes deceive him? Maybe, for running along the tops of parked cars, naked save for a flimsy pair of boxers, his face contorted, his eyes squinched like those of a rabid animal, was none other than his twin brother, Ieharu Sawada. He was moving like a bullet train in his approach, hopping from car roof to car roof with ultimate speed. When there were no more cars to jump on, Ieharu hopped to the ground unceremoniously, rolling about for a moment before coming to a stop on the other side of the street. Like a mad dog, his eyes scanned the faces of the people around him before he locked eyes with his brother. With Ieyoshi.

For Ieyoshi's part, the incredulity that was evident in his voice had already made its way onto his face. For lack of a better term, he looked dumbfounded. "What the fuck?"

With a mighty roar, Ieharu dashed across the street and halfway tripped, half-way lunged at his twin. This apparently caught both Ieyoshi and Damien by complete surprise, because neither reacted fast enough as Ieharu smashed into his brother at full force, sending them both rolling into the school courtyard.

Damien stood there in shock, his hands gripping one another as he overlooked the struggling brothers like an overly concerned parent. "H-h-haku?! What are you-- You can get hurt!" He yelled as the twins rolled along. No amount of bombs, battle training, or trap doors could have prepared him for this. These two were family. They shouldn't be fighting like this! He rushed towards the courtyard, following the both of them as they tumbled about. "Stop guys!" he yelled again. His heart raced as he followed the twins, hoping for their safety.

"Dude—" Despite being thrown to the ground, Ieyoshi still managed to maintain his serene state. His voice maintained its relaxed, sedated quality. "Haku—" Again, they rolled, another few revolutions, but this time, Ieyoshi ended up on top. He used the chance to pin his brother's neck to the ground with his forearm. "Are you insane? What are you doing?!"

"SHUT UP!" Ieharu roared, seizing his brother's shoulders and tugging with all his might. Ieyoshi's eyes grew large for but a moment, utterly surprised that his brother had strength enough to completely overpower him. The tug sent them both spiraling in a roll once again, this time past a few puddles and smack dab into a gaggle of frightened students.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Lyndis Kyori
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You know, life wasn't worth living untill you had a group of people kneeling before you and your boots. That was a firm belief of Rosa's. Rosa smirked as she posed with her hands on her hips to a crowd of spectators in the courtyard of Namimori High. Crowd was a misleading term, however, as it merely consisted of the several girls closest to Rosa. They bowed before her feet in complete reverence and admiration. These girls were the loyal subjects of the school's Queen after all, her "Dolls".

"So, tell me, girls," Rosa requested with much haughtiness in her tone, "What do you think of my new boots?" Rosa turned and shuffled her feet this way and that to give her friends a more complete indulgence of the sight of the healed, thigh-high boots. They leather, but they had a very light color, giving them a very warm look. The sole was completely black with flat, trackless soles and thick, inch-high heals. Along the front were the crossing pattern of long red laces, weaved in very fine fibers and tied into long, portruding knots at the very top, much like the silloeuttes of very large butterflies. They certainly didn't look like the kind one would slip on in a rush.

Instantly, the four girls stood up from their crouched positions and began throwing all sorts of compliments at once, their words stressed for emphasis giving an altogether melodious yet chaotic tune to it all. It was music to Rosa's ears. Rosa could never be tired of being admired, even if it rhymed. "Girls, girls, calm down," Rosa told them, waving her hands, "I'm glad you love them. I thought that since it was raining last night, I'd buy these so I didn't get my shoes all ruined. Oh, they hardly cost much, at least not with my money. It goes perfect with the uniform, is that not true?"

"Boots?" Lyn pondered for a second as she placed her hand in a thinking pose. "But like...aren't they for the snow? It's only October. " she asked while missing the point of fashion. Lyn never really understood the culture of the Dolls while being a well known member of them. How she actually joined the group was through Rosa. When Lyn transferred to Namimori high school about a year ago, she really didn't really make an effort to make friends. Her long black hair, green eyes, and silky hair often caught the attention of the men around the school. She also carried an open umbrella above her head, almost at all times. People at first often asked, "Why do you carry an umbrella?" She always replied in a polite manner, "I don't know, I just feel compelled to." A strange answer, but mysterious in itself. Some students made rumors saying she's a princess, she's cursed, and she's allergic to sunlight which brought her a lot of attention. Shortly after, Rosa simply came up to her and said, "Hey, you should quit interacting with losers and hang out with some real friends!". Since then, she's just been a part of their group. Though, Rosa has treated Lyn as little more than accessory to her group than a reliable friend. Lyn didn't think she was being treated like that at all though.

"They look pretty fancy," the short, long-haired girl, Tomoe noted, "but how're going to get them in the shoe locker?" She giggled at that statement, although none of the other girls followed suit. Tomoe Tachibana was always energetic and fun-loving, no matter the situation, although she wasn't the most clever. "You know, yesterday I got my socks and shoes all soaking wet on the way home! It was really gross and I thought my feet were going to stink, so I decided I'd run the rest of the way home barefoot." She snickered at that statement. "The rain would clean my feet anyway, right?" Tomoe was also known to be very daring, always trying out different things regardless of how daunting they appeared. Everybody in second year the time she climbed over the chainlink fence on the school's rooftop and took a selfie while hanging on the other side. She got into a lot of trouble, but Tomoe's name was well known because of it. She was also the earliest of the girls in the group to get a boyfriend.

"That's no good," the taller, short-haired girl, Erin, chided Tomoe in a sleepy voice, "You could'a gotten sick or somethin'. Colds really suck, y'know?" Erin Saito was probably one of the most striking looking of the group and probably wasn't the prettiest among the girls either. She was certainly the tallest among them, slightly taller than Lyn even, and she had very short brown hair. It was very easy to mistaken her for a boy if she didn't wear such striking, black lipstick and eyeliner. Among the girls, she was definitely the toughest and her tomboyish nature was without question. "Even today, y'see, you should wear a jacket over your uniform." Erin spun halfway left and right with her hands in the pockets of her black leather jacket to display it. It had a gleam to it, making her look like a delinquent. "If it starts rainin' again, yer clothes'll get all wet and you gunna get sick. Getting sick's not a good thing, that's for sure." Despite her intimidating appearance, though, Erin tended to be quite compassionate toward her friends.

"Like hell anybody's going to wear something like that to school," the blonde-haired girl, Akako, harshly remarked, "I'm feeling sick looking at it. Same with you're shoes, they're nothing like Rosa's, nothing like them at all!" Akako put her hands on her hips and put a foot out like Rosa was doing earlier, obviously trying to show off her own boots. They were small, tan and looked soft and had fully tops–clearly they were winter boots–and they looked nice. Rosa recognized them as the cheaper Supermart kind, however. Akako Hayashi was probably the closest girl to Rosa of them all, and that didn't just refer to her loyalty. Akako looked as if she were Rosa's slightly shorter, long-lost, Japanese sister. Her hair was dyed blonde, although it was shoulder length and in pigtails. She had very striking red lipstick on, even if Rosa didn't wear it. Still, where Akako didn't imitate Rosa in fashion, she imitated her in mannerism. She was often just as hostile, if not moreso, than Rosa and often imitated not just her interests and her attitude, but also some of Rosa's manerisms and even the way Rosa walked or stood. Indeed, she was the spitting image of what embodied Rosa, if not an exaggerated version of her, and she was Rosa's well known (and almost equally infamous) 'underboss'.

"Aw, stuff it, 'Ako," Erin grumbled, "At least I'm warm-ish." Erin looked Akako up and down. "Bet you would walk around naked in this cold if Rosa told you to." Akako gave her a death stare, but Erin couldn't help but grin as she held in a laugh. Akako simply huffed and turned her head, much like Rosa did when she was being slandered. "I would do that if I could," Tomoe added mischeviously, giggling between her fingers. Erin, Akako and even Lyndis all looked at her with an incredulous expression when she said that.

Lyn mentally chimed out of the conversation about describing the boots and missed most of the conversation. She literally stood right in next to the girls, physically there, but her mind wandered once again to different topics. Why did they all still have to where student uniforms? What will she eat for lunch? She was the type of girl to overthink topics which typically made her seem like an airhead. Focus was a skill she sometimes lacked if she's not engaged. Why are the girls talking about being naked? Her train of thoughts continued to roam. "Naked?!" Lyn blurted out loud with a shocked look upon her face. Her face reddened a bit at the mere thought of anyone beside herself being naked. "Girls, we shouldn't talk about those types of things in public!" she continued, "Why would we go around naked?"

Rosa, on the other hand, wasn't too happy by the fact that the attention of the conversation was turned away from her boots. That was the problem with stupid girls, they were as fickle as rodents. "How obscene," she muttered, "What are you, middle school boys?" Rosa looked at her circle of friends up and down. Airheaded Lyndis, mischevious Tomoe, boyish Erin and unlikeable Akako. They were all just ordinary high school girls, living about every day aimlessly and without ambition. They were never destined for greatness, not like Rosa. The only way they could become anything better was to be in the subordination of true leaders, true human beings, like Rosa. That was just the way Rosa liked them, imperfect dolls that were destined to have their will oppressed for the greater, or rather, more deserving good. By both blood and will did Rosa have the right to become truly great. These girls couldn't possibly ever hope to grasp this notion, nor did they care to. They were happy like this, after all. Nothing made Rosa feel more proud than ridding the burden of free will from those that recognized her authority.

Rosa was about to clear her throat and begin speaking when she was suddenly interrupted. Akako called, "Wah–What is that?!" Something suddenly caught the attention of the girls. "Holy crap," Erin remarked, "That's Yoh and his twin–in his underwear!" "We were just talking about being naked too!" Lyn chuckled. "What?" Rosa looked in the direction that the girls were looking in, and indeed, it was just as Erin had described. Two first-years were fighting each other on the wet ground of the entrance, and one of them was indeed in naught but his underpants. Rosa was flabbergasted.

"What?!"

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: Makoto Fujiki Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa Character Portrait: Aobane Kuroiobashi Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Luka Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera 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...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa Character Portrait: Lyndis Kyori
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"Unhappy!" The spiteful and highly irrated voice of Rosa echoed throughout the girl's restroom. "I do not like it when I am unhappy!" Rosa was in the midst of changing her clothes within the bathroom stall while doing so. After Rosa fell into the puddle, her entorage had quickly kicked into action, helping her recover and moving her indoors, her uniform all wet. Well, they were only somewhat wet, but they were as good as ruined to Rosa. Luckily, everybody was too busy taking "paparazzi pictures" of the twins to pay close attention to her. On the way inside, Rosa managed to catch the sight of Lala and brought her with them. Lala was the fifth member of their group after all, as difficult as it was to possibly imagine her getting along with Rosa.

So there Rosa and her entourage was, retreated to the girls restroom. Erin was standing outside in order to not allow anybody else in, as this restroom was reserved in the name of Rosa's divine right, at least for this moment. Rosa was in one of the stalls, unddressing all the parts of her uniform that had gotten dirty when she had fallen and pushing them to the adjacent stall, neatly folded. In there, It was not much of a surprise for Lala to find herself inside one of the stalls that was closest to Rosa's. She at least managed to find them amidst that crowd, though it was not in the most pleasant of situations. As a result of that, she was now also doing the same thing, being ordered to switch uniforms with Rosa. "It will be fine, Rosa-chan." Lala noted while removing her clothes in an orderly fashion and making sure that it was neatly present. "I''m sure they didn't mean it." Her tone held a sincere and encouraging tone, while sensing that Rosa was not really going to calm down anytime soon even how much she toned down what occurred. In the end, Rosa does have the right to be irritated, so she was allowing herself to at least ease that bubbling annoyance by removing a mark of that incident which was the wet and dirty uniform. The whole time, Rosa was complaining aloud, trying to vent out some anger. Patiently, Lala listened to Rosa's complaints while changing into the stained uniform. It was a good thing also to air out one's troubles, as said by her father. It puts everything into a perspective.

"Ugh, that little runt," she ranted, "has the gall to push into me? What a little upstart. Thinks he can ruin my beautiful uniform while he rolls around in the nude! My beautiful phone too!" Indeed, when she fell, the BluScreen had flown out of her hands and short-circuited in the water. It was just a clear plastic screen now.

"Hey, Rosie," Tomoe called from outside the stall, "Somebody just sent me an image of his brother's butt! He's got Batman underwear! Why the heck were they both stripping anyway?"[b] The three other girls, Akako, Tomoe and Lyndis were waiting outside the stalls, all looking at texts and images on the unfolded screen of Tomoe's phone.

[b]"It said, BATMAN BITCH on it. I think I like this kid,"
Lyn recalling the boys trousers. Oddly that's the most notable things she remembers from the whole fiasco "But Rosa, things aren't as bad as you think. Two boys in there underwear took all the attention from you," she continued in hopes to cheer her up, "we're the only ones who saw you fall." That was far from true, as far as Rosa could recall. All the attention was on her, at least for a moment. There was no way people didn't pay attention to such an unflattering moment on Rosa's part. She'd never fallen before, after all. It made Rosa feel so angry inside, or at least that was how she could cover up her shame in being dishonored.

"Well at least they don't have any pic---," A childlike ringtone started to sound. "We are living our lives~Abound with so much information," she continued to sing Persona 4's theme song along with her phone. "I've got a New In-Com-Ing Message!" she said as if she's an announcer. She pulled her phone out, "Hmm, it's not from a number I know...it's a mass text. Must be a random student." She moved her index finger on the phone and opened up the mesage. She paused for a brief moment. "Well Rosa, I stand corrected. Hey girls look at this!" she held out her phone to them. The two of Akako and Tomoe simultaneously 'Ohh-ed'. The content on the phone only consisted of two images a brief text. The first picture was the moment when Ieharu pushed over Rosa and the second was Rosa sitting in shame on the ground wet. The rest of message said...Lyn read it out loud, "Oh look, the Alpha Bitch Rosa, taking a dip in all of her elegance."

Somehow, Lala could feel that the fire deep inside Rosa would further be ignited at this point. She was not able to see what Lyndis was commenting about, but she does not need to sense that Rosa was in a steady increase of her displeasure. Lyndis' words or actually reading the statement was wnough to clarify her assessment. Really, it woud be helpful if Lyndis could learn to feint at times like these, but she does know the girl meant no harm, just stating the truth. "Rosa-chan, is everything fine with the uniform now?" She tried to change the subject to another, although she was pretty sure it won't be that effective. Still, she could try, right? Rosa didn't answer, however. In any case, she was now finished with her change of clothes. It was without doubt still wet and rather dirty, but she could manage it for now. There would be a spare of clothes at her club room later to pick up.

"Those punks," Erin grumbled from outside the restroom, "Gimme the word, Rosa, and I'll knuckl'em! 'Specially that kid Ieharu!" Rosa emerged from the changeroom, eyes closed and her composure strong. She appeared to be much calmer now, although nowhere near happy. She also looked much cleaner, of course. Lala's clothes fit her very well, or at least as far as any outside observer could tell. She looked toward the girls and their transparent screens, where she could easily see the picture of her pitiful appearance on the ground, especially on Tomoe's large screen. Tomoe immediately switched to a picture of both the twins in different stages of undress, apparently sharing their clothes. The girls looked nervously at Rosa. Rosa didn't change her expression, she just merely leaned on the wall.

Lala exited her stall as well, revealing that her earlier prim and clean uniform was now the opposite of it. One could say, there was not much of a difference in the fit except probably around the chest area. It was a bit tight. Beside that, the other thing that's getting tight around here is the atmosphere. Her eyes glanced towards Rosa and then back to the others. The eerie silence was like hands wrapped around her neck, suffocating her ever so slowly, because without a hinge of doubt, she could feel the ravaging anger, but also another feeling underneath, something she was familiar with. Through it, she remained still and soon, Rosa talked, breaking that smothering emptiness of the lull.

"I wanna hear it," Rosa ordered, "I wanna know what happened, and what's going on. I wanna hear about them, the... twins. I want names, and I wanna know where they are right now." Rosa and her group didn't stick around to see everything after all. Altogether, the girls described to her exactly what happened after they retreated, at least according to both what they themselves had seen and what they've been told through text. Akako actually had a whole video recording of the whole thing, from the beginning of the fight to when the twins left the scene, which the girls, including Erin, watched bits and pieces of, skipping through parts to save time. They definitely excluded the bit where Rosa fell from the parts they watched. Rosa exhaled and closed her eyes in order to think. The girls watched her patiently as they waited for her judgement.

"Indeed, Akako," Rosa told the blonde girl next to her, referring to a question asked much earlier, "It really does look like a disruption of the peace of the school." Rosa seemed to have recovered her composure completely, almost smirking as she spoke. "Of course, we all know what we do with first-year little upstarts that think they can control us through violence. Isn't that right, Akako? How's your boyfriend doing, by the way?"[/color] Rosa looked toward the girl. Akako grinned visibly.

"Oh, he's been really restless as of late," Akako explained, "I guess all that stress from being the student head of the Martial Arts Appreciation club must be getting to him. He says he and the club really wish they could put to use some of the new techniques they've been learning. Honestly, I don't really know what's so interesting about fighting... unless you're interested, Miss Rosa." The two blonde girls appeared to have some sort of an agreement between them.

"Why, I am quite interested," Rosa responded enthusiastically, as if she were reading off of a script, "Why don't you tell your boyfriend and his club that there just happens to be the perfect opponents for them to try out their new moves against? After school, at the parking lot way in the back. We could watch and see how amazing the Martial Arts Appreciate club really is in action." Rosa straightened herself up and addressed the rest of her circle. "Girls, take notes, and make sure everybody hears of this. I want everybody to see these kids humiliated for how truly insignificant they really are. In the meantime, I want to know as much about those brothers, Ieyoshi and Ieharu, as possibly. Give me names, family, friends, enemies, connections, reputations, rumors, stories, clubs, hobbies, schedules, fears, peeves, romantic interests, economic status, possessions, test marks, underwear brands and their flaws! I want it all!"

There it goes. Lala closed her eyes momentarily and opened them knowing that this was not going to end well, one way or another. Her red eyes landed on Rosa and somehow, she felt the need to tell this feeling of hers. There was that sense that perhaps it would be for the best that this event with the Sawada Twins be ignored. "Ah... Rosa-Chan, I thi--", but before she could complete her sentence, Lyndis spoke with her own personal cheer.

It sounded pretty fun to Lyndis. She looked forward into meeting the now infamous underwear twins. "I can't wait to do this!" she cheered.

Ah yes, Lala could not help but feel she was fighting a losing battle here. Hopefully, her feelings this time won't be spot on, but that was hard to be bright-eyed for. Releasing a soft sigh, she had a smile on her face, alighting her features. "Let's do our best on this one, okay?"

"And one more thing," Rosa declared, "I want someone to buy boquettes for them. They'll need them for their desks tommorrow!"

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Character Portrait: Crostoph L. Stings Character Portrait: Akira Shinsato
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Cross looked at the school map intently. Coincidentally, he wasn't paying attention to his surroundings when he walked over, so he didn't know exactly where he was on the map. "Seriously. Why don't they have a you are here on this crap map?" He raised his hand inches away from his chest, holding them as if it were a demonic claw, only to lower it as he remembered there were people around him. He didn't want to get in trouble this early on for vandalizing property. Plus, on top of that he'd basically be putting a spot light on himself.

He contemplated just giving up for the day and trying again the next. It wasn't like he wanted to be in a school where they have fights early in the morning. Life was too short for petty squabbles. However, Cross had a lot of things riding on this job. If anything, quitting now would result in a very bad ending for him down the line. All he had to do was go to school and watch some people. It wasn't hard. So, why was he trying to make it so hard. Not finding an answer for himself, he hashed it up to first day of school jitters.

He heard someone ask someone if they needed help and instantly thought about how embarrassing it would be if someone approached him like that. It was all denial for the presence next to him was undeniable. He gave a quick sigh and returned the smile. "Yeah. I've been out sick since the beginning of the year and need to find my class, but it seems that even the school map is no help at a time like this....." His last words trailed off as his phone rung. "Oh. Please excuse me for a moment..... Hello."

"Do you're job or you don't get paid." *Click*

His smile stayed on his face, but his his eyes widened and he was visibly a little irritated. "Hm. Well, seems like my mom won't be able to pick me up from school because she'll be coming home late like always. Anyway, do you know where the principles office is. I'm going to have to find out which one of these second year rooms I'll be in and get a schedule...... Maybe even a better map." He placed his hand on his chin trying to think of the matter at hand. For he did consider this doing his job. It wasn't like he'd be able to find the two kids anyway with a jumbled mess of the crowds. At least he thought as the crowd seemed to open up to a half naked kid, this time wearing different boxers.... No, looking past him there was another he looked just like him. In fact....... 'Ohhhhhh. I see now.'

Cross noted his mistake. Honest as it was, he couldn't let a little sleep deprivation and sunlight get the best of his senses. He glanced at the boy as he passed by, but decided since someone was obviously watching, he didn't need to worry about it. He would do his job, not that much would come from it. Though to have a fight that dragged in that much of a crowd, he wondered if they were popular. If they were, then could his client be someone who was bullied..... Was it a teacher? He didn't care until he was threatened. No one ever called to threaten him or rushed him when it came to work before. He'd definitely have to handle this in some way. He couldn't have creepy people calling him at their leisure. For now, he stepped around the boy who offered to help him trying to get out of view from any open space. "Thank's for offering to help mate. Name's Crostoph. I usually go by cross for short. What's your name?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crostoph L. Stings Character Portrait: Akira Shinsato Character Portrait: Akamatsu Hiroshi Character Portrait: Luka Character Portrait: Yume Hibari Character Portrait: Florence Sterling
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#, as written by taigaxx
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Luka merely shook his head at the show the Sawadas put on so early in the morning. In the end, nothing serious seemed to have happened and he lost interest quickly once he was sure the twins weren't in any immediate danger. The flame on Haku's head did raise some questions in his head but now wasn't the time to dwell on it for too long. The corner of his lips twitched up into a slight grin when Ieyoshi took of his pants so boldly and offered it to his twin brother. They certainly were a unique pair. Shaking his head, Luka continued towards the school building.

Kumo leaped off his shoulder in one graceful movement, meowing up at him before rubbing against his leg as if to say goodbye for the time being. "Stay out of trouble," he reminding, crouching down to give the cat a quick scratch behind its ears. With another small meow, the feline was off to go about his own business. Luka stood up to head into the building when he noticed movement upstairs by the window. He jerked his head up, just in time to catch sight of long black hair.

"Yume nee-san?" Luka was well aware Yume had taken a leave from school for a while now but he hadn't really heard anything about her returning. It's been quite some time he had seen her so he hurried into the building and up the steps in hopes to catch her before class started. At the least, he wanted to welcome her back.

"Nee-san," he called out from down the hall.


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Luka nearly jumped when he heard a voice coming from behind him. He turned around and blinked down at the pretty looking blonde then offered a small smile. While he spoke fluent Japanese, he was happy to hear the language he was most familiar with: Italian. It had only been a week since he came to Japan but he still missed the place he was supposedly raised in. "Why yes. Today happen to be my first day here and I'm at a loss of where to go. Can you perhaps direct me to the principal's office," he replied back in Italian. There was a momentary pause before he spoke again, "Ah, my name is Hiroshi," he said introducing himself. This time he spoke in Japanese, hoping the girl understood the language. But given that she was here at Namimori High School, he would assume she did know or at the least understand Japanese.

Before he could say any more, he stumbled forward clumsily when he felt someone bump into him. "O-Oh, it's alright..." Was he blocking the hallway by any chance...? He looked at the pair of males, one with bright red hair and the other with brown hair. He looked to the one who he presumed bumped into him.

"You're not hurt, are you?" It wasn't like the two of them fell or their collision was severe enough for either one of them to get hurt but he felt like it was polite to ask anyway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crostoph L. Stings Character Portrait: Akira Shinsato Character Portrait: Akamatsu Hiroshi Character Portrait: Luka Character Portrait: Yume Hibari Character Portrait: Florence Sterling Character Portrait: Zenith Lucci
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"The relationships you build shall be your foundation for your sanity."
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There was a voice a familiar one calling for her, with that of a familial title. A hint of recognition flashed deep inside and a series of faces appeared in her thoughts, until it stopped to one. Her steps came to a halt as she looked over her shoulder as her body was now in an angular position. Eyes of gentle moon reflected the same image of whom she had welcomed to her circle of family as a younger brother. There he was at a distance as her eyes crinkled in delight of a reunion. "Luka-kun..." She called out in return as it held the sense of a cheerful surprise. At that point, she fully faced him with a smile adorning her lips. Her hair much like that of an abyss fall around her like night's curtain, contrasting nicely with her natural white skin.

She was indeed a vision that most of the students could not help but have a moment to contemplate about her existence.

"This is a wonderful surprise." Instead of walking towards her classroom, she went to the path leading back to Luka, a student of her father, whom she had met when they were younger. The meeting was at best uneventful as her father made it out to be, but it was a surprise and a good one, if she would describe it. She had been shown that her father was not as distant to people as she had initially thought. But, she had been told by Uncle Tetsu that this only came to be when he married the Himemiya Priestees, her mother. Truly, she had wondered what kind of relationship her parents hold, because even if they had not seen each other, they still hold such trust and respect. In any case, being far sociable than that of her father and brother, she had engaged Luka in a more amiable manner and became an older sister to him which she was fond of to be look at that in such a way.

Reaching him, she stopped before him, while assessing him in a polite manner. Those eyes of silver lit with such joy. "You have grown into a fine young man when I was not looking, Luka-kun." It had been a long time since she had seen him. As she grew up, her social interactions with others had become limited due to her training of becoming a fitting heir to the Himemiya Clan. It is why she could not see him or the other children of her father's famiglia as much as possible unless it was deemed as an official matter. That is why she was also not aware that Luka is apparently studying here as well which she could tell from the uniform he wears. She had believed that he was still in the company of her father and Uncle Tetsu, but that was not the case. It was also a given that she had taken a leave of absence in her attendance to this school which contributed to her ignorance of him being here.

"How long has it been since I last saw you?" The sound of fondness clearly heard on her voice. "Are you doing well? Enjoying your time here as a student?" She asked in smooth succession much like how a doting sister would do towards her little brother. "I am really glad to see you, Luka-kun." Her hand then was elegantly placed on his head, a gesture she had done to him to show her appreciation and indicative of her familial affection. She patted his head with a gentle and warm smile shown upon her face. "I hoped Ani did not cause trouble to you in any sort of manner." The hand on his head was removed as it returned to her side and that eyes of hers held a degree of concern meshed with a hint of melancholy. "Do kindly forgive him if so."

For in the end, there was no denying especially towards to Luka that the relationship between the Hibari twins are not ideal.
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ImageIt was a mighty fine morning! That much he could tell when he woke up earlier and prepared everything needed for school. This was his vision as he roamed around the hallways of Namimori High, doing his usual patrols of sorts. He spotted a ruckus at the main entrance. As a dutiful teacher, Zenith Lucci traversed the stairways to reach it in hopes preventing students getting hurt. However, the obstacles were enormous in the image of the large-bodied (from a sumo-wrestler lineage) vice principal who asked him about the latest drama shows.

It only ended when the ever-manic obsessed History teacher confused him to be a sort of Babylonian God. He was lucky to find an opportunity to slip through, by literally slipping as he took a step back. He rolled through the staircase but managed to make it look like an acrobatic act, it does help when one watches cirque du soleil, but his epic landed him in a puddle, and also a lot of muscle cramps. He was simply getting too old for this. Through it all, the students who witnessed and knew him could not help but laugh at their teacher's antics. He welcomed it with a smile though, he was down when the seemingly trouble he spotted earlier had now dispersed. He got wet and back pains for nothing. Taking a deep breath, he proceeded to enter the building once more. He would need a spare change of clothes as he took of his coat and twisted it hard as water came out of it in volumes.

"Lucci-sensei! Don't wet the hallways!" He awkwardly laughed and apologized before excusing himself from the elderly janitor. There was a couple of students out there in the hallway, new faces, a blue hair, blonde girl, a brown hair. "Good morning, children! How are you all this fine morning? Don't mind my appearance, there's a good reason behind it. I assure you."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crostoph L. Stings Character Portrait: Akira Shinsato Character Portrait: Akamatsu Hiroshi Character Portrait: Florence Sterling Character Portrait: Zenith Lucci
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#, as written by Damioa
The red haired boy introduced himself as, Akira. Cross didn't mind Akira. He wasn't talking much about studies and when his conversation went into school survival and escape points Cross even noted a feeling of interest towards him. He definitely wasn't a bad first contact to have. As he was walking on his tour of the school, Cross threw exclamations of amazement at the scenery. As they were walking, they suddenly bumped into another pair of students. Cross tripped on his own feet as he tried not crash into them, falling on the floor, slamming on his side.

He was regretting his decision not to push whoever was in front of him over until he looked up and got a good look at them. He quickly sprung to his feet and began brushing dust off of his pants. 'Not cool at all.' He felt lucky that Akira quick to start apologizing. Once he did, Cross just bowed and played the silent role. He didn't want to say the wrong thing to these students and didn't want them to think he was weird. He couldn't risk putting himself in a bad situation. After the his display of clumsiness, he began to doubt it was even necessary to care about these two. He'd just have to hope they weren't one of those gossip type of people. It was kind of irritating. School was the greatest of all evils compared to places you could be in life to him. At least on the street he wasn't forced to sit in a class room full of the same people everyday. That meant everyday he'd have to act a certain way, watching every single move of his, less he gets put in a position where other people of interest might be involved. Which made him think, 'This is exactly why I hate lying. Too many things you have to keep up with.' Though he knew the world din't care what he favored. It was going to keep spinning regardless.

He looked back and forth between the guy and the girl, looking the girl up and down a few times to get a better look at her figure. It only too a second, one that he counted in his head. IT was better to count he learned, because if a girl looked good enough one could spend about a good second too many on one area. He spent that second on the hole frame. It was gift to be able to look at someone that fast if you asked him. He wondered if the rest of the girls in his class were going to be as cute as her. Though he noted she looked like she wasn't interested in the event at all. Maybe that was just her face or maybe school really bored her. He was actually about to ask her about it before seeing an adult who looked like he just got quick hosed came up to them. He gave them the normal adult to children in school greeting that Cross expected to here. It was good and everything, but Cross was getting impatient. He'd feel a lot more comfortable if he knew where his class was. "Sensei," he said, hoping that this guy was at least someone who worked in the building.... for the children s sake. "I don't know what class I'm in. Do you know where I can find a class roster?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crostoph L. Stings Character Portrait: Akira Shinsato Character Portrait: Akamatsu Hiroshi Character Portrait: Luka Character Portrait: Yume Hibari Character Portrait: Florence Sterling Character Portrait: Zenith Lucci
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Luka smiled when Yume turned to face him and lightly jogged up to the female Hibari. As usual, Yume was as beautiful as ever. While Mamoru resembled more of Hibari Kyouya, Yume was a splitting image of her mother. Not to mention, she had been kind enough to accept Luka as a younger brother. Perhaps it was thanks to the young princess that Luka had felt a little more welcomed in the Hibari family when he was young. To him, it was nice knowing he had someone to call a family despite not sharing a single drop of blood. Of course it was hard to tell what Mamoru thought but the male didn't express complete hatred towards him. Then again, the two never had a full conversation to begin with so Luka wasn't sure of anything concerning Mamoru at the moment.

"I just grew a bit taller, Nee-san," he chuckled, "I didn't think it was possible for you to get any prettier but I guess I was wrong. Ahhh, there's gonna be a bunch of perverts trying to go after you," he grinned, his tone light in a jesting manner. No but seriously, he wouldn't be surprised if he saw the male students crowding around her. "How long?" Luka looked up at the ceiling as he gave it a thought, trying to count the number of years. "I'm not sure. But it definitely feels like it's been ages since I've seen you." He blinked at the string of questions and let out a small laugh, "I'm doing fine. More than fine, actually. School is kinda boring but..." Luka trailed off towards the end of his sentence, remembering the scene he witnessed this morning. Surely Yume had seen it too. He ducked his head a little when the pale hand gently ruffled his hair, returning the affectionate gesture with a soft smile.

"--Uh, Mamoru-nii?" Right... The older of the twin had managed to make a reputation for himself but he hadn't done anything Luka... yet. Possibly because Luka had been smart enough to avoid making Mamoru angry. "He never troubles me but I think the number of patients in the hospitals increased lately because of him. There was a momentary pause before he spoke again. "Hey, Nee-san. Don't worry about him too much." He was sure Yume had other important matters to be concerned about.

"Anyway, I didn't hear anything about you returning." Which might be a given since he's sure the Vongola was busy. Ever since Luka decided to go off and live alone here in Namimori, he hadn't have much contact with the man who raised him. It was Tetsuya who often sent him messages of how they were doing. "It really is a pleasant surprise." Though he's not too sure if Mamoru will find the news exciting. "And... I wasn't really going to ask but have you seen the Sawada twins this morning? Haku had a flame on his head. I might be thinking too much of it but I can't help shake off this feeling, you know? Do you think there's something going on?" Luka cared about the Vongola just as much as he cared about the Hibari Family.




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From the corner of his eyes, Hiroshi witnessed the brunette falling but didn't have the chance to ask if the other was okay--especially since the redhead got right into introducing himself. "My name is Akamatsu Hiroshi. It's fine if you just call me Hiroshi," he replied. His eyes flickered between the two males then back to the blonde standing beside him. It was now confirmed that she wasn't a fluent speaker of Japanese as he assumed she was. This told him she was most likely a transfer student just like him. "Is that so? Actually, I was just asking Florence here if she could help me. Though, it seems she's new here as well. It'll be great if you can show us the way--"

The sound of the janitor's voice interrupted the four students, which was quickly followed by a tall green-haired male greeting them all. Hiroshi took a small step away from the drenched male, his lips twitching into an awkward smile, as he wasn't sure what the make of this situation he was currently in. "Zenith-sensei...?" He repeated after Akira, looking back over at the redhead once more. Ah, so this man was a teacher at this school. He certainly seemed like an... interesting individual.

"Good morning, sensei," he finally greeted, being as polite as possible. "Oh, I am also in need of a class roster. And preferably as soon as possible... please." It wouldn't be good to be late on the first day, right? Despite the fact that he was just thrust into this situation this morning.

Hiroshi's first impression of the school wasn't great but it also wasn't bad. Except, he had no idea what the say about the duo who were missing parts of their clothing earlier this morning. Aside from that and the wet teacher in front of them, this school seemed like a normal high school. Or at least he hoped.

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Character Portrait: Ryuu Morimoto Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Godot Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada
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Ieyoshi's grimace flattened into a straight line. His eyes widened very slightly. His shoulders settled, countenance becoming stiff. It was almost doll-like in its rigidness. The only thing that betray his underlying thoughts was the intensity of his glare as it bore into Ishiki's skull.

Now, at his age, Ieyoshi was still too young, too inexperienced, to be called a pessimist. Still, he wasn't one to glaze over what he considered the facts. For one, fighting and beating Ishiki alone, without his goons to back him up, would have already been a massive challenge. It was just a fact that he wasn't going to be able to beat Ishiki, the four upperclassmen in front of Ishiki... Ieyoshi's eyes wandered over to his right. ... and the two upperclassmen who held the blonde kid. He returned his eyes forward, dismissing those two. In the event of a fight, they'd be too busy restraining the other guy, so it was highly unlikely that they'd join in any sort of skirmish initially.

Convenient.

Ieyoshi noticed it first. There was movement from behind Ishiki. He didn't have to shift his eyes to notice who it was. Ieharu, gathering himself, moving his feet under his body so that he rested in a squatting pose, back against the wall. The two twins met eyes then. Ieyoshi tilted his head slightly to the left, and some sort of meaning, a silent message, seemed to pass between them. After a second or two, Ieharu wiped his face with the back of his sleeve, accidentally smearing red across his cheeks, and shook his head slightly, offering his brother his toothiest grin.

Ieyoshi closed his eyes for a instant, sighing softly. "Tch," he uttered under his breath, looking away from his twin. "Liar."

He resumed glaring at Ishiki, who simply shrugged at the lull in action. "Well?"

Between moments, Ieyoshi had developed something resembling a plan. Better, because it seemed that Ishiki wanted him to make the first move. "Let me guess," Ieyoshi began, taking a step to his right. "This is the part where I ask you nicely to let my brother go." He took another step to his right. The four upperclassmen in front of Ishiki followed Ieyoshi with their eyes. Predictably, Ishiki too a step to his left, subconsciously mirroring the elder twin. Good. The closer he could get to Ieharu and the further Ishiki was from them both, the easier this would be. Better to keep talking, then. "And then you say no." He took another step to his right, forcing the four upperclassmen to turn their heads to keep him in their sights. Like good dogs, they wouldn't attack until Ishiki told them too. Once again, Ishiki took another step to his left. They were virtually circling each other now. "And then I beat you all up."

Ieyoshi hoped his voice didn't shake with that last line. Bluffing wasn't his strong suit. Still, with one more step, it'd be a straight shot to reach Ieharu's position. Just one more step.

However, Ishiki didn't move this time. Instead, he laughed. It was obviously forced, because none of the warmth or girth reached his eyes. They were will cold and beady, despite his face. One second, two, five, he kept laughing. The other upperclassmen looked at each other, somewhat confused. As if to prompt them, Ishiki snapped his fingers twice in quick succession. Suddenly, they began laughing too. First the two in the middle, then all four, then the other two that were holding the other kid, who looked at them like they had all turned nuts. All of them force-laughing in tandem with their boss. And then, as spontaneously as it had started, Ishiki stopped, becoming silent. Most of the others followed suit except the one closest to Ieyoshi, who kept laughing. He was promptly elbowed in the side by his compatriots.

Ishiki cleared his throat in an attempt to cover up the lack of coordination amongst his lackeys. His girlfriend was cheering him on from the side, after all. He had to look badass in front of her, despite this poor showing from his subordinates. "Stupid child!" He proclaimed, pointing at Ieyoshi. "And foolish! To dare to bare your fangs at us! My club is composed of this school's most elite fighters." He slowly raised his other hand as he spoke. His tone had become overbearingly arrogant, his stance undeniably dramatic. Akako gave him another cheer of approval, grinning while she recorded the whole thing on her BluScreen. "We're the elite! You'll never get past a single one of us." Ishiki snapped his fingers. Once. Pause. Then again. Ieyoshi recognized it as the signal to attack and raised his fists, taking a fighting stance. He wasn't close enough to his brother, and things had started too soon. This wasn't going to work out after all.

...

Several seconds after Ishiki's grandiose hand gestures, when nothing happened, Ieyoshi raised an eyebrow. The four upperclassmen seemed confused again.

Ishiki brought his palm to his forehead, resulting in a loud smack. "Attack, you idiots," he said, nearly whining. "The two snaps means to attack. We went over this."

That's when one of the upperclassmen, the one closest to Ieyoshi, mobilized. He puffed out his chest, assuming his full height, and took a step forward, fist balled, meaning to attack the elder twin... and promptly proceeded to trip over his own feet and fall on his face.

So much for the elite.

Everyone looked down at him, on the floor, mouths slightly agape. Ishiki face-palmed once more. His girlfriend tsked in annoyance. "Moron," she muttered, and the blonde kid let out a laugh that was hastily smothered by his captors. Despite his lack of belief in superstition, Ieyoshi wasn't about to look this gift horse in the mouth. Taking advantage of this distraction, he darted forward and to the right, easily leaping over the downed upperclassman. He came sliding to a halt in front of Ieharu, who'd come to his feet immediately, already prepared to move. So far, this had gone better than he had hoped. Phase one of his plan was complete. He already reached his brother without too much trouble. Now for phase two. Unfortunately, this particular spot was very well chosen by the Martial Arts Appreciation club. This part of the lot was not only mostly abandoned, but was walled off from the rest of the school proper by the auxiliary building, which was probably why the they liked to hang out here. No teachers or staff or nosy students to get in the way of their fun.

This meant that, in order to escape, Ieyoshi's only option was to leave the same way he came. Hop back over the downed upperclassman, outmaneuver Ishiki and his thugs, run along the side of the auxiliary building, and exit back into the main parking lot where Damien and the others were waiting. Ieyoshi grabbed his brother by the hand, sparing a precious moment to glance in the direction of the other kid whom had been restrained. The elder twin dismissed him in the same instant. While the guy's predicament was unfortunate, Ieyoshi was simply too pragmatic to play the hero. Further, there was no time to lose and their window of escape was closing fast.

When he tried to move forward, however, Ieharu resisted him.

"But Ryuu!" The younger twin whispered. The boy in question glared as though he couldn't believe them for halting and jerked his head sharply, wincing slightly at the movement. His expression practically screamed get out of here already, dumb asses! But it was too late. Ieyoshi could only watch, eyes wide, as his precious window of opportunity closed right in front of his face. Ishiki wasn't stupid, and moved immediately to block their path. His thugs followed suit, closing off the only means of escape left open by the downed upperclassman.

"For fucks sake, Ieharu," Ieyoshi sighed, letting go of his brother's hand. They were screwed, backs only a meter or two from the wall. Another wall to their right. The wall of the auxiliary building to their left. Ishiki and his thugs to the front, and they were slowly closing in. Help could not be expected from the only person present who would be on their side, since no matter how much Ryuu struggled and curse there wasn't much a small boy like him could do against two burly upperclassmen who were at least twenty centimeters taller than him, had him by the arms and were nearly lifting him off his feet.

At this point, any normal person would have panicked. Or at least been unsettled. It was the end, after all. However, looking at Ieyoshi, none of that was evident. One moment, he seemed driven, motivated to action as he went for his brother, but now he seemed almost bored. He took a step backwards so that he stood dead center in front of Ieharu, his back to the younger twin. Taking advantage of this interim period before what he knew for certain would be an ensuing violence, he took stock of his surroundings one more time, if only to confirm just how screwed they really were. To be honest, if he was being completely forthright with himself, none of this came as a surprise. This was the obvious result of running into a situation half-cocked and trying to improvise with off-the-cuff tactics in lieu of a well-formed strategy. It simply wasn't his style.

"Remember boys," the girl was holding her BluScreen right in front of her, with the twins in full focus, "Rosa says she needs a trophy to collect from these boys! It has been decided the only true proof that they've been disposed of is that underwear that they flaunted so flagrantly this morning. You know, the whities and the 'Batman Bitch' one! Get me that Batman underwear!" She paused a bit before adding a more innocent sounding "Pleee~ase?"

After several moments of inaction, perhaps due to the upperclassmen's bewilderment at what'd just been asked of them, Ishiki clapped his hands. "Well, you heard her!" He said, making a shooing motion. "Get 'em!" Ishiki slurred the final syllables, so that it came out as ssskit 'em!

Almost cavalierly, Ieyoshi raised his hands, fists open, his left crossed over his right. He spread his legs about shoulder width apart, lowering himself into a quasi-boxing stance. Whatever happened, he wouldn't make this easy for them. He'd make sure it took all four to... did she say take their underwear? Ieharu squealed in the background.

As the upperclassmen began closing the distance, a single thought permeated the serene silence that had settled over his conscious mind: I'll die before you lay hands on my brother again.

A loud voice bellowed, "HEY!" The boys became startled, and everyone but Ieyoshi paused to look around. The eerily familiar voice had apparently come from behind them, but nobody was there, or at least that's what was apparent. However, the sound of leaves rustling and branches creaking made it immediately obvious as to where the voice had come from: the big, dense maple tree. Suddenly, a big black figure dropped from it like like a ninja from television and landed perfectly. A person remained crouched on the ground, sitting on one knee with the other in front of him. His head was down beside his knee, obscuring his face, but unmistakably he was wearing a bright blue beanie. There was a silence, as the man—it was by no doubt, an adult man—did not give speak, neither did anybody else, waiting for him to speak. Ishiki attempted to break the silence. "Who–"

"Tell me," the man interrupted, his voice deep and intimidating. He paused and then spoke again. "Why don't you boys tell me..." he paused again. Ishiki gulped. There was no doubt in his mind that this man was going to ask exactly what was happening in this situation, and with a bunch of seniors surrounding two freshmen, one of which seemingly bruised, while another was being restrained, Ishiki couldn't possibly have thought up a reasonable excuse, not that one would have worked anyway. The man finished his sentence; "... tell me where I can find the Nurse's office." Everybody looked at the man incredulously. He grunted. "Y'see," he explained, looking up at the group of students with narrow eyes and an ironic grin, "I realize now that falling onto my ankle from ten feet up the tree isn't such a great idea."

Silence filled the area as everyone stared at him with expressions ranging from disbelief to flabbergasted, the air thick with tension and nervousness of the man who'd suddenly appeared. Then what he said sunk in and a sense of relief permeated the air around the upperclassmen as they registered that it was just some crazy dude instead of a teacher, and Ishiki straightened up with a winning smile, dark aura receding so fast that it was like he had never been spouting theatrics for the past hour or so in the first place. "Uh, yeah, the Nurse's office is over there," he said calmly, pointing with relief to the left. "Turn second right, go down the steps and walk straight until you see the nurses office. Right, dear?" He nudged his girlfriend, who was still standing there looking gobsmacked, BluScreen still held loosely in her hand as if she had forgotten that she had been using it to film.

"Y-Yeah," Akako recollected herself and smiled charmingly at the man. She looked the picture of beauty, belying her true nature. "You're right, Ishiki."

"Godot!" Ieharu exclaimed in pure jubilation, buds of hope blossoming in his eyes like miniature orange supernova. If he remembered being shot in the face just a few short hours earlier, it didn't show. Ieyoshi eyed the man but otherwise remained silent.

The hooded home-tutor pushed himself up, grunting as he did so. "Thank you kindly," he said, before casually limping away, his hands in his pockets.

Ieharu stared in unabated disbelief. "G-godot! Wait! No! Where are you going?!"

Godot paused mid-stride, however. "Come to think of it," he said, turning, "there seems to be a bit of an issue here. I couldn't help but notice while I was hanging in that tree there." He nodded toward it. "In fact, as far as I can tell, this looks like some kind of harassment, huh? Intimidation, bullying, all that ugly stuff. Yeah, I suppose you could say I'm good at reading a situation, although to be honest, it's pretty obvious that's exactly what's going on." Ishiki was about to deny it, but Godot interrupted him with a chuckle. "Relax kid, I understand, no need to convince me. Well, then allow me to rectify the situation. Yoh! Haku!" Godot pointed his finger in their direction. "You two quit picking on these young gentlemen right now!"

Ieyoshi dropped his hands and Ieharu nearly fell down on his backside at Godot's words. Both boys were rendered nonplussed, but it was Ieharu that regained his composure first. "Uh," he started, stepping out from behind his brother. "I... um. Well, Godot... we aren't— it's not..." He scrunched his face in an attempt to articulate his thoughts. Finally, he found the words. "It's not like that at all!"

"Is that so?" Godot stared off into the clouds. "Alright, so from what I'm understanding, you guys," he faced Ishiki, "are from the Martial Arts Appreciation Club, meaning you specialize in self-defense. That's why I was confused, because it appears you're not really defending yourselves at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. That dame however," Godot looked over in Akako's direction, "doesn't exactly fit into this crowd, huh? Not that girls can't 'appreciate' self-defense, I guess. Tell me, girl, are you recording all this?" Akako stuttered as her arms sunk slightly. Godot suddenly hollered, "TURN IT OFF!" Akako squeaked as she folded her BluScreen and turned it off.

"Punk!" Ishiki was hollering now, "Don't yell at my girlfriend like that, you bastard! Who the hell do you think you are?" Ishiki turned his head toward Haku and back at Godot, "You just break into school grounds and sit in a tree like some creepy stalker, and now you're lecturing us? The Elite?"

"Hey," Godot said in a low, intimidating voice, "Stuff it." Ishiki scowled at him and balled his fists. Godot took a step forward, grunting a bit as he did so. "I just thought it was a stupid idea," he explained, "to create incriminating evidence against yourself when doing 'business'. I guess that lady of yours is your middle-man between you and your employer, then?" Godot chuckled. "How cute. We've got ourselves a little intricate criminal syndicate in this school. Still, this drama that you're trying to pull is way too unnecessary. If I were you guys, I would have taken these two kids out in different locations. Don't even declare your intentions or none of that. And look," he gestured to Ryuu, "you got somebody unrelated mixed up in this."

"Godot," Ieyoshi said, frost underlining his tone. He gave the man his full attention for the first time since he'd dropped into the scene. Their new nanny was currently standing off to the side, to the right of Ishiki but a ways away from Ryuu and the two upperclassmen that surrounded him. "You're in my way." His words had a sort of uppity finality to them, as if they were entirely self-evident and he were being forced to state the obvious. His brother's declaration came much to Ieharu's horror, of course. He gave Godot a wide-eyed apologetic look, hoping to excuse his brother and welcome the older man's assistance. The difference between the expressions on their otherwise identical faces was like night and day.

"What was that?" Godot turned his head as he spoke sardonically, "I didn't catch it. I guess you didn't hear me when I said stuff it. That applies to everybody you know. When I say something, I expect people to listen to me talk. I might just teach you something." As Godot brushed himself off, Ieyoshi hunched his shoulders, a retort hot on his lips, but Ieharu pulled on his arm. Godot continued to rant. "Do you all have any idea how long I was in that tree, with the dead leaves that keep getting into your clothes? That wasn't as bad as my last three hiding spots, though. The garbage cans are particularly bad during lunch. Anyhow, I've been waiting all day to give a lecture that I was supposed to give earlier, out in this yucky weather, with nothing but the birds to talk to. So I'd like to get my point across, if you don't mind."

Ieyoshi shook off his brother's grasp almost violently, taking a step forward. "Listen, Ishiki," he said, addressing the upperclassman. "Fuck this guy. He's not a teacher here. You wanna throw down?" He resumed his fighting stance. "Come at me then." Ishiki looked at Ieyoshi like he'd sprouted another head. Ieyoshi took the moment of silence as a question with an answer he was all too eager to provide. "Or all of you can come at me," he said, seemingly exasperated. Judging from his expression alone, one wouldn't venture to guess that the elder twin were agitated, or impatient, or even angry. He looked calm. It was his words, not his tone or visage, that betray him. "I don't give a fuck. Let's just get this over with."

BANG!

The sound of a gunshot rang out through the empty lot, startling just about everybody. Both Akako and Ieharu screamed, though who screamed louder is anyone's guess. Ieyoshi stumbled rearwards past Ieharu, his back colliding with the wall. Godot was standing there with a smoking gun in his hand.

"My bad," Godot said, "but I told him to stuff it." All of the boys—or at least the sane ones—were all about to bolt, but Godot called out to them. "Hey-hey-hey! Relax! You think I'm going to shoot anybody else?" Godot brought his gun to the side of his face and pointed it upward. "You see, this is self-defense. This is the martial arts that I appreciate, the good-ol' Beretta. Godot put the weapon back in his jacket pocket, which is where it was hidden."

Ieharu stared at his brother, his hands pressed flat against the sides of his head, eyes wide with terror, mouth agape. "N-no! Not again!" he cried, tears coming to his eyes. "He didn't mean all those things he said!" He turned towards Godot, hands still on his head. "You didn't have to do that!"

"Ah, yes, young Ieharu," Godot smirked affably at the remaining sibling, "I trust you made it to school on time. Tell me, did you stop Ieyoshi from, what was it again? Saying something stupid? Alright, I imagine you're a little confused as to why I shot you earlier—and why I shot your brother just now—but I think it would be best if you just watched for a moment."

Watch? Watch what? His brother die?! Hands still cradling his head, Ieharu, in shock much like the others, turned to look at his brother's remains. Ieyoshi's body was leaning against the side of the wall, his head bowed, eyes closed. There was a thin string of blood originating from the spot on his head where he'd been shot, but there was no wound. Weird. Ieharu dropped his hands, his expression becoming quizzical—curious, even. He'd seen it. Everyone heard it. Godot just shot him. Where was the wound?

And that's when Ieharu felt it. A sort of pressure that pushed against the front of his body, the part that was facing his twin brother. It was like a giant hand was trying to crush him, compress him into nothing, like the winds of a tornado, or a hurricane. Yet he wasn't moved physically. His hair wasn't tossed back and forth, his clothes weren't pressed against him, dirt and rocks didn't fly up everywhere, so it wasn't a blast of air. It was something else. The sensation lasted but for a moment, transitioning from push to pull, like he were being sucked towards his brother, and then from pull to nothing. The sensations ceased entirely, leaving Ieharu with a feeling of vertigo.

"What the hell—" one of the upperclassmen started, but stopped short of completing his thought. At the same time, Ieharu took a hesitant step backwards, away from his brother's body.

Slowly, surely, Ieyoshi opened his eyes, stopping at about the half-way point. Suddenly, he leaned forth, lurching forward like the undead. He glided across the ground as he moved, walking silently past Ieharu, who simply started at him. He moved past Ryuu and the two upperclassmen that held him. He completely ignored Godot, wobbling on his feet a few times before coming to a decidedly unstable stop before the rightmost of Ishiki's four henchmen. They all looked at him like he was a demon fresh from the summoning circle.

"It makes sense now," he whispered. If one weren't paying attention, his voice could have been mistaken for a wisp of wind. His face was certainly that of a zombie. There was no life there. No warmth or spark. You might as well have been staring at a pile of bricks. No wonder, then, that the upperclassman before him fumbled for words. Ieyoshi didn't seem to mind, his gaze hazy and unfocused. "You guys, I mean. All of this. It makes sense, now. Perfect sense. I don't know why I didn't see it before. You all and Rosa and this morning and the underwear and the water. Perfect sense." Ieyoshi peered up at the muscle bound third year that stood before him, his eyes focusing somewhat. The elder twin looked like he was high on drugs. "Are we gonna fight now?"

"Dude," the upperclassman started, "you just got shot. Are you crazy?"

"I remember you. Your face, I mean. Not your name, that was never important. You're just a mook in a red shirt. It's your face. I've seen you around. Not just at school, I mean. Outside. I remember now." With every syllable, his tempo increased. It got to the point where he was speaking so fast that whole sentences were running together. "The Mitsuwa Marketplace. The food court. You serve the evening shift, right? It makes sense then, why someone like Ishiki was able to prey on you. To bring you into the fold. You're more than just an idiot. You're weak. Mentally, I mean." The upperclassman furrowed his brows in anger, but Ieyoshi didn't seem to mind. "You have no academic talents. You're not good at sports. You can't sing or dance. You can't do anything useful and you'll never be a main character, not even in your own life story. You're afraid that you'll be working that dead end nine-to-five job serving fries for the rest of your life, right? That's why you enjoy beating up defenseless first years, right?" The guy opened his mouth to respond, but Ieyoshi kept going. "So that you'll feel better? Let me assure you though, garbage like you will always remain garbage." The third year clenched his fists. He was clearly angry now, which was exactly what Ieyoshi wanted. "There is no hope for your kind. So instead of playing the fool so convincingly, why don't you take the initiative for once in your pathetic life and come at me?" He paused his monotonous diatribe for an instant, letting that last barb sink in. It certainly did. "Right now."

The upperclassman needed no further convincing. You could see the veins popping under his shirt. Without warning, he raised his fist and punched Ieyoshi dead in the mouth. The resulting pop! reverberated through the de facto audience as viscerally as the gunshot had earlier. Ieyoshi didn't bother bringing up his hands to defend himself or even deflect the blow. He just took it, his head snapping to the side with the force of it, blood and spittle flying into the air. The upperclassman followed it with another punch, this time to Ieyoshi's chest. Ieyoshi was forced to take a step backward with this one, but didn't otherwise move to defend himself. Again and again, the upperclassman would attack him, and Ieyoshi would just take it with a stoic expression and those dead dull eyes.

"Yoh!" Ieharu shouted. "What are you doing?!"

"Fulfilling his dying will, of course," Godot answered. Ieharu hadn't noticed until then that Godot had somehow ended up beside him. He was leaning against the wall, watching Ieyoshi in combat. "I shot him with the dying will bullet after all, the same kind as the one I shot you with this morning. Anybody with a dying will, when shot with this bullet, will revive with both the drive and the strength to accomplish that will. Can't you remember what happened this morning when I shot you with the bullet?"

"You shot me!" Ieharu said aloud, though it sounded as if he were trying to convince himself. He explored his face with his hands, looking for a wound of some kind. "You shot me in the face!" The rest of Godot's words seemed to click at that moment. "Dying will?" He remembered those two words coming up several times before when his father spoke to uncle Ryohei and the others from time to time, but they never really meant anything to him. They still didn't. "You mean he's dying?!"

"The pieces just don't add up in your head right," Godot teased, "do they, young Ieharu? If that was so, you wouldn't be in this situation, would you? You'd be quite dead, in fact. No, he's not dying, but his body thinks he is. That's the genius of it. There is no stronger will to do anything than that of a goal you wish to accomplish before you die. So, Yoh's mind is currently dead set on beating these guys, just like yours was on stopping Yoh this morning. There's a nice bargain that comes with being single minded, of course. The bullet allows your body to remove all its physical limiters, allowing to achieve an inner strength not usually available to us normally, as human beings. You managed to somehow run to school on time, after all. And your brother, well, you can see for yourself."

Eventually, Ieyoshi was pushed back against the wall, and the upperclassman prepared to deliver a final blow. He brought his fist skyward and, with a shout, smashed it into the boy's stomach. Ieyoshi didn't react at all. He might as well have been a punching bag. However, before the third year could withdraw his fist, the Sawada twin gripped the guy's arm, his hold fairly loose. For several long seconds, neither moved, and then, suddenly, the third-year fell to his knees. It wasn't immediately clear why. Ieyoshi was still gripping his arm, but he had not retaliated once. Didn't even throw a single punch. What was going on here?

When Ieyoshi released the guy's arm from his grip, the third year toppled backwards onto the ground, tongue drooping slightly from his mouth, his eyes as dim and empty as Ieyoshi's.

Stepping over him like one would over a puddle in the street, Ieyoshi advanced, slowly but surely, until he stood before the next of Ishiki's three henchmen. "Are we gonna fight now?" He asked with that same monotonous drawl.

The three remaining third years glared at each other, fighting silently over who's turn it was to take on this weirdo. From their split-second deliberation, they came to the apt conclusion that it would be best if they all attacked simultaneously.

(Un)fortunately for them, Ieyoshi seemed to lose his balance like a drunkard, if he ever had any balance at all. He fell forward onto his face, like a log, and remained there, unmoving. It didn't look like he was breathing. He just looked dead.

"Of course," Godot finished, "it only lasts for five minutes."

Ishiki coughed twice, perhaps to cover up his own nervousness and confusion. "Okay," he said. "Uh, good job, guys." There was no steel behind his voice this time. "Now, uh, take down the other one." He made a shooing motion in Ieharu's general direction. "And someone pick up Ken off the floor, too. He's making us look bad."

"I should probably mention," Godot added, "if the person who is shot doesn't have any regrets, the bullet will work." Godot looked upward. "Well, come to think of it, I guess the bullet would work, just a bit more permanently." he looked toward Ieyoshi lying on the ground. "Hey, Haku, your brother," Godot mentioned with a frown, "I think you should check on him. Also, you know, don't let these guys kill you, and while you're at it, that kid over there looks like he could use a little help."

Ieharu, who was offhandedly pondering if it was part of his so-called "dying will" to remove all of his clothes this morning, was snapped back into reality by Godot's mentioning of his brother. He was not a very good multitasker. His first reaction to seeing his brother's limp body face down in the dirt was to run toward him, but the three remaining third years had already started advancing on his position, cutting that plan short. Panicking, Ieharu turned back to Godot, who was still leaning against the wall. "Help! I think he's dead! Oh my god! He looks dead!" He said, pleading, his hands shaking. "I don't know what to do!"

"Well, I suppose you gotta look at things objectively," Godot had a look of confidence as he explained, "You want to save your brother, but you also want to protect your friends, I imagine. Also, you know, you don't want, well, your underwear taken. Now what is it that you gotta do to do all that stuff? I'll give you a hint, you need to stop these guys... I guess that was the answer. Well, knowing that, what is it that you really want to do?"

"Uh..." Ieharu eyed the upperclassmen warily, taking an uncertain step back towards Godot where, for some reason, he felt safe. "I..." He knew what he was going to say next was going to sound lame. The sheer thought of it reddened his cheeks. "I want to protect everyone!" He shouted through his own consternation.

Godot once again pulled his gun out of his pocket and took aim at Ieharu's forehead.

"Then do it with your dying will!" Godot squeezed the trigger.

BANG!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makoto Fujiki Character Portrait: Ai Shaji
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#, as written by Mat_z6
....out...into this world...this world...tiny little thing...before its time...in a godfor–...what?..girl?..yes...tiny little girl...into this...out into this...before her time...godforsaken hole called...called-

Ai shut her eyes and then opened them. Thought! What a sublime experience! No matter how quickly one was thrust into this world. One thought at a speed yet to be calculated by so-called 'modern' science. Thought was not a scientific thing, or maybe it was, but one could not deny that there was no conceivable way to track one's thoughts, tiny little things that they were, like one would track movement. All movements were tracked nowadays, not just by the quick lens of the camera, cameras of which, even before its time, were feared, but imagine! Tracked by living people, people with gifts in this godforsaken hole called the 'real world' and 'existence'. Ai closed her eyes.

...found herself in the dark...and if not exactly...insentient...insentient...for she could still hear the buzzing...so-called...in the ears...

The eyes opened. Something was on Ai's mind. Something occurred at an earlier point in time. So vague! If she could not remember what small point in time a particular event occurred, she would have found herself in the dark, at all times, nor what position she was in! Before her time! Ai's mind always wandered after all. That's how minds like hers were made. She was not some insentient computer, she had a human brain and body, but the brain always wandered and thus, was effective. Ai squinted her eyes.

...she did not know...what position she was in...imagine!..what position she was in!..whether standing...or sitting...but the brain–...

Her eyes fluttered open. Ai couldn't get the sight of two of her classmates off her mind. She did not know why they were fighting, but it first occurred to her at that time that one of them, Ieharu, was in a different state of mind. She then dismissed the notion as foolish, being disrobed in the chilly temperatures, but later she had a flash. A possibility presented itself to Ai that was perhaps not so foolish. There was a burning, a burning will. Ai didn't remember when the thought came to her but she knew, whether standing or sitting, it was far too late for her to have realized it. It was a burning, a burning will. Ai had witnessed the creation of a new destiny. Even if at any subsequent stage in time more destinies would be made, Ai knew that this was not so typical affair, but quite miraculous. Ai shut her eyes again, gently.

...first occurred to her...then dismissed...as foolish...was perhaps not so foolish...after all...

Open. The future was became the past again, or perhaps it was probabilities becoming certainties. Shut.

...at any subsequent stage ...so typical affair ...nothing of any note till coming up to sixty when–

Ai opened her eyes to look at the time, for she could still hear the buzzing of her headphones. The digital clock on the library's wall read 16:00 precisely. So it really was coming up to sixty... Ai looked around her to find that she still wasn't alone in the library. There were still a couple students studying or doing homework at the various tables. Ai herself was sitting in the corner, appearing as if the tiny little girl had dozed off. Ai did have her homework in front of her, all of it closed as she finished it a long time ago. Ai merely wanted to sit somewhere quietly so she could listen to her thoughts as well as her music.

It was necessary she gave herself the chance to let her mind wander every now and then. If she restricted it, Ai wouldn't be able to come up with any creativity, and creativity was necessary for survival, at least in the school setting. Creativity seemed like such a strange notion. Ai was told what creativity was actually like, although as understanding as Ai was, she couldn't make a lick of sense out of that man's ramblings. Still, as necessary as it was for one to think creatively, it wasn't something Ai was wholly comfortable with, letting her mind wander aimlessly like that. For example, what if she came across a particularly distressing thought? Would the possibility not exist then that Ai would lose some control over her own thoughts, even if it was temporary? After all, hysteria was human instinct and Ai sought to suppress that by any means.

Still, Ai was told to 'take a break every now and then' and allow her mind to enter a state of logic without aim, and Ai would never defy those that told her what to do. Perhaps she needed a change of pace. After all, she was told she was 'far too stiff' and needed to 'relax' sometimes. But as far as Ai could tell, she was always relaxed, at least as far as she understood the definition of the word. Yet, it appeared that these thinking sessions weren't helping her in the least to rid herself of her 'stiffness', whatever they meant by that.

Maybe she just needed a new environment. The school library might have been too cramped to think clearly. It simply a lot of stuff, which could have become a distraction. Distractions to thought created biases. Ai needed somewhere emptier, where nobody would be likely to be around. Somewhere clear, perhaps with fresh air.

"...I should seek sky..."




"Who knew school would be so hard?"

Slumping against the high fence atop the school roof, Mako let out a loud sigh. Her first day of school had been eventful to say the least and to say that she'd rather be training with Squalo right now really showed how much of a toll the day took on her. First there was the strange nurse that directed her to the school's office. Were all the staff here that...... different? Second was the issue of her sword. Apparently one could not take real weapons to school and she was forced to leave her katana behind in the school office. What kind of school was this? What if she needed to defend herself? She would have to find some sort of weapon for herself that wasn't so obvious. True, she did stand out with her katana strapped to her back but she'd never experience a place where weapons weren't allowed.

Mako stared down at her empty hands, cupping them as if she were wrapping them around the image of her sword. How she felt empty without it. Mako felt so weak and helpless when she was unarmed but as uncomfortable as it made her, she would have to deal with it if she was going to attend this school.

"I'm already so close to Godot! I can't give up now! Its only the first day, damn it!"

Mako slapped both palms to her cheek to clear her mind. It was time to strategize. She had seen many strong students today and tomorrow she would begin to challange them one by one. First off, she would have to find a weapon that wouldn't be confiscated by the school staff. Surely if she defeated a few of the top strongest here, Godot would show up. But then what? Would he even take her as his student? By what she knew, this so called "Hitman Tutor" didn't just take on anybody to be his student. Though it was no use worrying about what he would say if she couldn't even find him. As much as Mako hated to admit it, she knew she couldn't do this alone. She needed someone who knew anything about the elusive man. Looking blind was not the way to approach this but who would Mako ask? She felt like her thoughts were running in circles in her head. She had come here unprepared and without a plan and already on the first day she was suffering the consequences of it.

As if her thoughts were wearing down on her body, Mako had to sit down. Staring up at the blue sky she sighed once more.

"Who knew school would be so hard?.."

Just then, Mako jumped at the sound of a door open. Who would be up here at this time? Shouldn't have most of the students be headed home? Mako got to her feet. Perhaps it was a teacher who noticed her and they were coming up here to tell her to head home. Though to her surprise, it was not a teacher who came through the door. Or if she was a teacher, she was extremely short for one. From what she had experienced with the nurse that morning, it would not surprise Mako if this small, pink haired girl was the custodian or something. There was something off about this girl. She didn't seem to notice Mako and it was if she was deep in thought, not really paying attention to her surroundings in general.

"Um..... I'll leave if that was what you came up here for..."

Still unsure if she was part of the staff or not, Mako decided to open with a polite comment just to be safe. A few moments of silence passed.....

"Oi...... Did you hear me?"

Silence....

"I'm talking to you pipsqueak!!" Mako was starting to loose her temper.

...tiny little girl...

"It's fine," the girl said suddenly. Mako stared confused at the girl's short, simple answer. It didn't seem like the girl was even looking at her and she approached the pink haired figure and brought her face right in front of her's.

"Hello?? What are you staring at? I'm right here."

"Nothing," the girl responded, appearing unphased. She paused. "I'm currently staring at you."

"Tch.... Whatever..." Mako spun around, satisfied with the answer she got. "So... What are you doing up here pipsqueak? Your not a teacher are you?"

Silence....

Mako turned to face the girl again, her temper again on the rise when she didn't get an answer to her question yet again. The girl was simply adjusting something in her ear, acting as if she didn't hear her. Mako noticed the earbuds that were plugged into the girl's ears. So that was why she wasn't answering.

"Hey, isn't that kind of rude to have those things in your ear when someones talking to you?" The girl stared at Mako for a bit, as if considering something, and then reached for her ear.

"I apologise," she said, before removing them and letting them hang over her shoulder. "I was listening to my thoughts."

"Your thoughts? What do you record yourself or something?"

"No..." the girl lowered her gaze slightly, before bringing them back up. "Would that help?"

"Huh? Recording yourself? How would I know? Maybe if you wanted to remember something or if you wanted to hear it later maybe it would help..... Or maybe like.... GAH I don't know!!! Maybe it would?!!"

Mako stumbled upon her own words as she tried to answer the girl's question.

"I want to remember something," the girl told Mako, "from the future. That isn't the right term. I'm looking for something. Someone... I understand that recording others is a common practice, but I had not realized that recording onself could be used to their own benefit." The girl blinked and glanced off to the side. Standing there, she didn't appear shy nor bold. "I'd like to record you," the girl declared listlessly, "What is your name?"

"Ehhh??? Wh-What? Re-Record me?"

The girl's words had Mako's mind spinning. The future? Looking for someone? Just who had she run into here atop the school roof?

"Fujiki Makoto. That's my name." Mako said as if she were confirming it to herself. She still hadn't gotten used to the fact that she was calling herself that from now on. "Who are you?"

"My name is Ai," Ai told her, "Shaji Ai." Ai scanned the girl. "To my recollection, you are new to this school. I am under the assumption that for that reason, you would be unable to assist me. Am I allowed to ask as to why you are up here as well? Are you thinking?"

Despite her complicated words and strange subjects, Mako smiled at the girl. Though she seemed a bit mysterious, Mako was enjoying this small talk.

"I guess you could say that. Hey, didn't you say you were looking for someone? Well that's what I'm thinking about. I'm trying to find someone as well. Mako put her hands behind her head and turned to face the school yard below. "Who are you looking for?"

"I'm not allowed to say," Ai responded curtly, "unless circumstances change." Ai paused. "But I'm not thinking about that. Looking for isn't the right term, I realize. I think it was 'looking out for', which has a different meaning, I believe. I am, however, looking for an answer to a pressing matter, which is why I am thinking." Ai paused again. "I had come here to think and so have you, meaning you must have an issue that requires thought. Am I correct?"

Mako turned to face Ai once again and shook her head. "Boy, you sure say some strange things don't you? But I like you so I'll tell you. The person I'm looking for is very hard to find. You could say he won't show up unless he wants to. And as of now I have no clue on how to find him." As she explained her situation, Mako again realized how her plan was lacking. She locked her gaze with Ai's. This was probably the first time she had held a real conversation with someone since she left home. Maybe this girl could help her somehow. Should she ask? Gaining allies couldn't hurt even if she knew nothing about Godot or the mafia.

"Hey, Ai." Mako paused. "Oh wait, do you mind if I call you by your given name? I heard that's a thing here where it was impolite to call someone by their given name." Ai shook her head. "Ok good! Now, I mentioned before that I needed to find someone. And since your also looking for someone, or 'looking out for' or whatever why don't we help each other out? I mean it couldn't hurt right? You help me and I help you? Whadaya say?"

Oh boy.... Was that how to ask someone for help? Mako wasn't to sure. Besides, she had just met this girl. It was probably best if she didn't get her hopes up. Ai was silent again. Was she thinking? Ai seemed to have a tendency to make as few movements as possible whenever she was in a conversation, and she was as still as a statue whenever she was thinking. Still, the chances of her actually agreeing seemed slim at best. What could this girl possibly want out of Mako?

"Alright," Ai finally responded, "I, too, feel we could mutually benefit from each other for the foreseeable future. I have information on several notable students throughout the school of which you might want to take note of. I imagine you, as a new student, would find that very helpful. Likewise, I feel you can help me, but I do not think that I would be capable of explaining to you why at this point in time. There is one thing, however, that I am wondering about." Ai paused. Was she hesitating? Ai finished her statement. "I am looking for somebody to protect me. Are you capable of that?"

Mako blinked in disbelief. Had this girl just agree to help her? She could hardly believe it but it seemed like it was true. She had just gained her first ally. Mako could feel her excitement rising. Things were starting to look a little better and if things were to progress as they just had then she just might have a chance. And to think that this girl had information that Mako could use. Ai's last statement put a glint in her eye. If anyone needed protection from anything, Mako was probably the best fit for that job. As she was unable to hold in her excitement any longer, Mako suddenly slung her arm around Ai and laughed.

"Am I capable? You've asked the best person for that kind of job." To make her statement clear Mako reached to draw her sword.... Or she would have if it was there. "Tch..... First I need to get my hands on a weapon of course. But putting that aside I think we're gonna make a great duo you and I."

Sure it was only one small girl who Mako found to be a bit strange but it was a start. Maybe she could even find more allies with Ai's help. The thought of even forming her own "Family" crossed her mind but she quickly shook those thoughts away. It was WAY to early for that. She'd have to find Godot first before she could even begin to call herself a mafioso.

"You are useful then," Ai told her. Then she said nothing. Maybe she was lost in thought again, but Ai appeared very aloof to everything around her, not caring about whether she was standing or sitting or talking to somebody when she became lost in thought. She simply froze up and stared. It was unnerving and even awkward in a way.

"Its settled then!" Mako let go of Ai and for the third time approached the tall fence of the school roof. Mako's head was filling with ideas of how to put her plan into action. If Ai had the information she needed, she would be able to find that boy with the flames she saw this morning. Yes, he would be her first target. Surely Ai had caught wind of this mornings spectacle since the whole school was talking about it already. "Ai, did you see what happened this morning? The fight that happened right at the entrance?"

"If you are referring to the event in which the Sawada twins, Ieyoshi and Ieharu, engaged in reckless behaviour with one another," Ai answered, "then yes, I did witness it."

"Yes yes! That one!" Mako spun around and put her hands on Ai's shoulders. "So you were there! Sawada, huh? No wonder they looked so similar. Do you know which one of them had the flames coming out of his head?" Mako had no idea if Ai knew about the Dying Will Flames but at least she could tell her which one she needed to look for. "They were coming out of his forehead like this all bright and stuff!" Mako made wavy gestures with her hands right in front of her forehead to imitate how they would look.

"Ieharu," Ai answered suddenly, as if she were fully confident about her answer. She didn't elaborate, however.

"Ieharu..... He is the one I have to fight!" Mako began pacing the roof back and forth in front of Ai. "I wonder if he is still at school? Ahh... Its already getting late but maybe he might have some sort of club activity or something. There might be a chance! But.... should I do this today? Maybe I need time to prepare myself. I don't even have a weapon I can use on the school grounds."

"I would recommend against fighting him," Ai mentioned. This time, she did elaborate; "Contrary to what presumably you had witnessed this morning, violence between students isn't considered to be a behavior ideal. Still, even if I am mistaken in that regard, I am of the belief that you would not be able to win against Ieharu in combat."

Mako stopped pacing and shot an icy glare at Ai suddenly becoming very serious. Even though she knew Ai didn't know any better, the sudden comment of her abilities made Mako even more determined to prove herself. "That so?" Mako decided to ignore Ai's words for now. It was only a matter of time before she would make a name for herself here at this school but what Ai said was right. Mako could not forget that she was no longer dealing with the Mafia world alone. This was a normal school out in the world with real laws and even Mako knew that out of the place violence would only warrant unwanted conflict with the staff and even the authorities if she wasn't careful. The confiscation of her katana was already the first strike. Next time she might not be so lucky.

"Anyways, I believe it would be to early for me to start anything now. Preparation is key due to my circumstances but I'll be sure to make you take back what you just said."

"I did not intend to undermine you by my judgments," Ai explained carefully, "because although I am not entirely aware of what you are capable of, I believe regardless that your abilities would not be able to compare with his. Ieharu is an extremely powerful unit of potentially limitless capabilities. If one were to challenge him, one can only expect to have the strength of their attacks be returned against them two-fold." Ai blinked. Somehow, it seemed as if that was an uncommon occurrence for her. "It is indeed in our best interests to analyze him further and make great preparations if you are to challenge him. If you retain interest in him, perhaps he may be a lead toward the person you are looking for. I am of the understanding that human intuition is more effective than expected."

Mako's eyes widened at Ai's words.Was this kid really that strong? If so, then beating him would definitely lead her to Godot. Mako could feel the adrenaline coursing through her at the thought of such a strong opponent. She wanted to fight and she wanted to do it NOW. "AARRRGGHHHH Just talking about this makes my blood boil!!!" With that statement Mako suddenly leaped atop the towering fence with little effort at all and looked down at the school yard below her. Thankfully since most of the students were occupied with club activities or went home, no one noticed the absurd sight of the short girl standing atop the roof fence. Forget training and preparation. This was her ticket to accomplishing her goal. She had to find him now and even if she would not be able to fight at this very moment, the least she could do was to challenge him. Mako made a graceful leap back down off the fence and landed directly in front of Ai.

"I need to find this Sawada kid right now! Do you know where he is?" Ai shook her head.

"Tch.... We've got no choice but to go looking for him. Hes still got to be around here somewhere but where do we start? Maybe a place with more students around. Then we could ask them if they've seen him!" Mako began pacing once more. A place with a lot of students. A popular place. "Ahh.... Ai do we have some sort of place where everyone goes to eat? I heard schools have those!"

"At this time," Ai responded, "Namimori Café is the closest of such places."

"Oi Oi!!! Then what the hell are we standing around here for? Lets get going!!" And with that, Mako sprinted towards the door that led back down into the school building. Ai, however, was standing still.

Ai turned to face Mako and asked, "Was I intended to follow you there?"

Mako stopped in front of the door and turned back to face Ai and grinned mischievously. "Didn't you say you needed me to protect you, Pipsqueak? Well, if you want my protection then your gonna have to go where I go. That's how it works!"

"My name is Ai," was all she said, before she began to trail behind Mako. Maybe Mako was just what Ai needed, somebody ordinary to look toward in desperate situations. After all, one never knew what to expect in this school, where without warning, one's life could crash when one made just one wrong turn. At least Ai would have an ally, a friend, to assist her.

But then Ai remembered how foolish that notion truly was. It was inconceivable to think that Mako could truly protect Ai. Not against them.


Collaborative post between Lloyd999 & Mat_z6

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{some sort of mistaken post due to RPG blowing up, should be deleted}

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Character Portrait: Izaya Ryujin Character Portrait: Chester Sterling Character Portrait: Ryuu Morimoto Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Godot Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera Character Portrait: Tsuneo Kure Character Portrait: Shou Arasaka
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This monster post is PART 1 of the team effort made by the following: KumoriKitsune, Lloyd999, Alle9009, Moahi, Pandora's Melancholy, Xunnamius. Wow!




"Then do it with your dying will!" Godot squeezed the trigger, and Ieharu screwed his eyes shut in anticipation.

BANG!

That familiar flash of pain. The pressure. The silence. It was all familiar to the young Ieharu. In his final moments of lucidity, he felt like his was floating, rising, higher and higher until—

"REBORN!!!"

The word tore through his throat, reverberating throughout the empty lot as forcefully as any gunshot. His body never hit the floor. It seemed to explode right then and there, his clothes burning away, eyes opening wide, irises glazed over as if he were in a trance. He caught himself with one hand, arresting his downward momentum.

"I'M GOING TO PROTECT EVERYONE!" He shouted at the air, springing back to his feet whilst he did so. "WITH MY DYING WILL!"

"Good luck," Godot told him, before leaning back against the wall.

"WHO NEEDS PROTECTING?!" Ryuu roared back at the naked boy as if what he'd said was an insult, snapping him out of his zombie-horror shock.

Some distance away, Ishiki muttered offhandedly, eyebrows raised, "This kid loves to get naked." The words were directed in Akako's direction, however she hadn't quite recovered from the shock of the whole situation yet and didn't make a cohesive response.

The upperclassmen, Ishiki's three henchmen—five now, counting the two whose attention had shifted from Ryuu following Ieharu's outburst—look at each other, their expressions full of worry.

Suddenly, those expressions morphed.

"Haha!" One of the upperclassmen laughed, pointing at the younger twin. "Is he naked? Again!" The other four bust out laughing as well, one of them holding his side in an attempt to contain his mirth. "We're so scared!" The upperclassman continued, howling in laughter.

"Why not do us a favor, kid," one of the others began, tears of merriment in his eyes. "Just throw us the underwear and run along." That suggestion spawned a new round of giggling and snickering from the other upperclassmen. "You can run all the way back hom—"

With the sheer speed in which Ieharu moved, it seemed even the universe itself needed a moment to catch up. There was no time to prepare, no time to react. One instant, Ieharu was standing several meters behind his brother's body. In the next, he'd buried his fist in the belly of the upperclassman who'd been speaking down to him, the one standing in the middle of the three. Spittle flew from the guy's mouth, his abdomen becoming convex as his body reacted to the physics of the blow. The eyes of the various bystanders had barely begun to shift towards Ieharu's new position when reality finally took over. The upperclassman reeled, his feet losing contact with the ground as he flew backwards, nearly colliding with Akako, his limp body meeting full force with the unforgiving asphalt several meters away.

He was finished.

Ieharu didn't afford the others much time to respond. Almost immediately after disabling the first of Ishiki's thugs, he delivered a calamitous backfist to the upperclassman on the right, smashing his solar plexus. The poor guy on the left only had enough time to bring his hands up before Ieharu spun on his heel, using the momentum of the move to deliver a mean hammer fist to his lower thigh. There was an audible pop! as the guy's knee was dislocated. Both men crumpled in on themselves like wobbly Jenga towers, their pain and surprise so great that their voices caught in their throats. Their crippling defeat took place over the course of a few seconds, but for those watching, it may as well have lasted for whole minutes.

Fists balled, eyes glazed over, Ieharu snapped his head to the side, towards the only two upperclassmen left standing. His face was an unequivocal and pure manifestation of his wrath, his propensity for violence in the name of his friends made corporeal. He lowered his chin, peering out at the two from under his brow, like a bull preparing to charge.

"AAAAAAHHHHHHH!" Ieharu roared with all his might. He looked positively insane.

The two third-years flinched at that, both raising their hands, their faces beaded with sweat. They began stepping backwards, their entire bodies shaking. "Woah there, man," one of them said, his voice nearly faltering. "You got it. You win. We don't want any of that."

"I didn't sign up for this shit!" The other one spat, hands still in the air. "I'm done!"

Without further ado, the two third-years took off running, cutting a wide swath around Godot and the others in an attempt to escape. They almost made it, too.

But then Ishiki was there, blocking their path. With one swift right hook, he sent both men to the ground. Ieharu turned to look at them, and then up at Ishiki, the flame atop his forehead waltzing as his neck swayed to and fro like a snake thusly charmed.

Ishiki sighed, cracking his knuckles in turn with his free hand. "Hard to find loyal friends, I guess."

"I'M GONNA PROTECT EVERYONE FROM YOU!" Ieharu blurted out, his fists balled so tightly that his wrists shook. "ISHIKI!"

"Protect everyone, he says," Ryuu grumbled aggrievedly under his breath as he looked keenly around at the abandoned lot. Nevermind that they'd been mobbed if Ieharu hadn't interrupted, Ryuu still felt that they could've dealt with it somehow. Behind him, Chester was dragging Ieyoshi away form the battle ground to where they were in an effort to get him uninvolved. The boy was still unconscious, and likely to remain so. Ieharu's words struck Ryuu at his deeply independent core, which—nope, his bag wasn't there. Ugh, and it'd contained his staff too. He groaned and glared at the lot like its entire existence offended him, a frustrated growl emitting from under his breath as he found nothing he could use. Why was it so empty?! Where on earth did his bag even go anywa—

Ah ha! Ryuu made his way to a particularly tall patch of grass, pulling out a wooden bat. It had seen better days and it was a bit too short for his taste, but it was solid and when the blonde swung it like he was hitting a home run it made a satisfying swishing sound. Ryuu gave a faintly satisfied grin that lasted only a few seconds before darkening into a scowl. "Think I can't stand up for myself does he, that pompous little..."

Ishiki glanced at Akako, and then at the so-called Godot, seeing if either were about to make a move he should be aware of. Akako appeared irate, although she was only just recovering her ability to speak. "I-SHI-KI!" Her voice definitely seemed irritated, but it sounded as if she were still restraining her temper. "You better get him already! He was just a bug earlier!" Ishiki nodded in affirmation. Akako's nasty tongue was beginning to present itself.

The one with the gun seemed content to sit back and didn't look like he was going to be shooting any more of those what he could only assume were high-tech steroid "bullets" at anyone. Maybe. Maybe not. It didn't really matter. Despite Akako's words, something had begun twisting in Ishiki's gut after witnessing the boy so effortlessly disable his compatriots. It was a feeling, of course. One that certainly wasn't unfamiliar, but completely unexpected in here of all places. Of all the members in his Martial Arts Appreciation Club, none were able to hold their own against him for more than a minute, but this kid...

Maybe he'd severely underestimated him.

For the first time, Ishiki genuinely grinned. Was it happiness he felt now? Fear, of being defeated? Excitement, to perhaps have met one who could offer him a little fun? "Ieharu Sawada, eh?" Ishiki stepped forward, rolling the sleeves of his uniform up past his elbows. When he was done, he raised his arms in an exaggerated shrug. "Come on, then. I'm right here, kid. You gonna protect 'em or what?"

Like a raging bull before a Matador, Ieharu surged forward, fist balled, screaming. He closed the distance between himself and Ishiki in an instant, throwing a punch with all his might and smashing the much taller third-year in the chest.

Or so he thought.

At the last moment, Ishiki pivoted to the side, deftly avoiding the blow. Simultaneously, he bent his knees, legs spread into a mid-low stance, his face coming to about eye-level with Ieharu, whose fist was still extended out in front of him. With all the grace of a svelte Broadway dancer, Ishiki flowed with the force of his initial pivot, grasping Ieharu's wrist with one hand as he slid his shoulder under the boy's arm. With his fist having failed to collide with Ishiki's body, Ieharu was still being carried forward by his initial momentum, and the upperclassman took full advantage of this. Pulling Ieharu's arm downward like a lever, Ishiki flipped him over his shoulder, using the boy's own velocity against him.

Ieharu went flying, windmilling through the air.

"Come on, Sawada," Ishiki purred as he reconfigured his footing. "I compete internationally. Did you think I got to be leader of this club because of my good looks?" He flexed like a bodybuilder, bringing his arms up at either side of his head, his uniform barely containing the sheer girth of his muscles. His girlfriend cheered him on, which made him grin. "Although you're certainly strong. Really strong, actually. And fast. I'll give you that." Ieharu had not only skipped across the ground a few times, but slid painfully on his back to a halt. He rebounded to his feet a moment later, though without clothes to protecting him, it was his skin that took the brunt of the damage. The broken asphalt had scratched his back and his sides, leaving noticeable lacerations. It was obvious from his expression that he didn't care, however. Ishiki assumed a boxer's stance, his fists open slightly, elbows down, arms up. "I see now how someone like you could have angered that cow Rosa." He began shifting his weight back and forth in his stance, ready to pivot again at a moment's notice. His was smiling now, unable to hide his merriment. "But just 'cause you can throw a punch doesn't mean you can hit me."

Without words, Ieharu accepted the challenge, rushing in, fists blazing. He swung once for what would have been an otherwise bone-shattering jab, but Ishiki easily predicted the move and responded by delivering his knuckles flush into the side of the twin's face. Immediately, Ieharu's mouth was bloodied, but if he noticed he sure as hell didn't show it. Again he swung, this time laterally. Unfortunately for him, Ishiki had used the previous maneuver to strategically position himself so that he was both between Ieharu's hands and a few centimeters away from his face. With such a short distance to work with, Ieharu wasn't able to muster as much force behind the attack as he could have otherwise.

Which was the plan.

With his forearm, Ishiki blocked the attack. And then, like Leonidas, he kicked Ieharu dead in his chest, sending him flying backwards a second time. The move looked positively vicious, and even in his current state it took Ieharu several seconds to get back to his feet.

"All strength and no skill, with those tiny little arms of yours." Ishiki shrugged again, huffing slightly. He hadn't even broken a sweat. "You're obviously overexerting yourself using them steroids or whatever that pedo over there did to you." He hooked a thumb in Godot's direction. "I wonder how long can you keep it up. Did he say five minutes?" Godot nodded in polite confirmation, smiling. "Though your brother over there didn't even last half that. Heh. You better hurry then, hero."

Ieharu growled in frustration yet failed to sufficiently alter his tactics. He launched himself at Ishiki once more, brandishing his fists. Like last time, he swung with all his might, the sheer force of it causing the sleeves of his uniform to crackle and snap as they resisted the air. Ishiki dodged it. Ieharu didn't give him a chance to counter and pressed forward with another equally devastating punch. And then another. And another. All in quick succession. With each punch, you could tell he was throwing his entire being into the maneuver, from the way he leaned in with his closed stance to the manner in which he cocked his arms back. He was also screaming his little heart out. Yet he still failed to make contact with Ishiki's body until the very end.

When Ishiki delivered a brutal knee to his chin.

Ieharu's neck snapped backwards with the force of the savage maneuver, his attempt at an assault utterly annihilated by his senior schoolmate. For his part, Ishiki pattered rearward, his feet gliding across the ground like those of a practiced fighter.

"Wow, you've, uh, got heart, Sawada," Ishiki began. He was being sincere. "No one's ever withstood my special move before, yet there you are, still standing." In response, Ieharu shook his head like a dog shaking the water out of its fur. "Steroids can only do so much for you, you feel? You have no upper body strength. Your fists aren't fast enough. Aren't strong enough to reach me." Ieharu spit a glob of red onto the ground and resumed growling at the upperclassman. "But if you come at me like that again..." Ishiki altered his stance, spreading his legs and leaning low, angling his body so that only his side was exposed to the raging Ieharu. His fists turned to palms, his fingers straight and parallel, his arms out in front of him. It was reminiscent of an action hero from one of those old kung fu movies. His joyful smile had long since departed from his face. "I'mma break you."

Ieharu responded with a single word—bellowed it, of course. "PROTECT!!!"

Again, he launched himself at Ishiki. This time, however, the third-year didn't move. Didn't sway. Only stared. The air about him changed from one of jubilance to something else. Something more dangerous. When Ieharu came within arm's reach, cocking his fist back for the umpteenth time, Ishiki shifted slightly, preparing to smite this poor boy. Ieharu threw an odd punch, striking downwards, towards the ground, missing Ishiki entirely and leaving himself open for desolation. "Ha!" Ishiki barked in triumph, bringing his palm forward to collide with where he knew Ieharu's chest would be.

Or should have been.

Ishiki realized it too late. Ieharu hadn't thrown a punch, and so he wasn't carried forward by the physics of it like he had expected. Instead, Ieharu had angled his upper body downwards, one arm on the ground as he transitioned into a one-handed front flip, his feet arcing through the air. Ishiki wasn't fast enough to recover, having extended himself a tad too far with that attempted attack, and Ieharu brought the full force and weight of his heel down upon the back of Ishiki's neck. Though the Sawada twin's maneuver was poorly executed and elementary in its composition, the raw force behind it was enough to break Ishiki's stance. He was nearly bowed, his hands coming up instinctively to catch himself, but the attack wasn't enough to make him touch the ground. He was a medalled athlete, an internationally recognized fighter! No way some steroid-brained novice and his tomato punches would be enough to—

Ieharu, revelling in the effectiveness of his lower body against this opponent, followed that initial kick with another, this time twisting in the air to gather sufficient angular momentum before driving the instep of his foot into the side of Ishiki's neck. Ieharu attacked with such force that the very air before him parted with a whistle.

THWACK!

Ishiki was forced to the ground, his hands slapping the rough asphalt, his face and neck bowed by the absolute physical power behind the attack. In this mode, Ieharu's punches may have been powerful, but his kicks were a whole order of magnitude more devastating.

Perhaps it was the pure shock of being forced to his knees for the first time in ages, or perhaps it was an anger so abysmal and all-consuming that it paralyzed him, but even after Ieharu stumbled backwards, Ishiki remained bowed, his hands flush with the pavement beneath them. He didn't move, his eyes wide, mouth held slightly agape.

Ieharu regained his footing, leaping backwards. "PROTECT!!!" He shouted once more, pumping his fists. And then, like before, he surged forward, this time cocking his leg back to deliver a kick that would have most likely broken Ishiki's neck. Unfortunately, Ieharu tripped, falling on his face. For those that were paying attention, the flame atop his head had gone out just moments before.

Ishiki turned his head to glare at the downed twin, a wonderful thought occurring to him. "Oh," he said, getting to his feet and dusting himself off. "Oh ho ho!" He pointed at Ieharu with one hand while rubbing his neck with the other. It was obvious by the way he moved that he had sustained some sort of injury. "Your time is up, hero. You lose." The joints in his neck popped as he angled his head. First left, then right. "Fuck Rosa. Fuck favors. Fuck it all." Ishiki frowned deeply, looking at his hands which had been dirtied by their time on the ground. His voice lost a few octaves with his next line. "I'm going to kill you for what you just did."

"As if, you megalomaniacal drama queen." Ryuu stepped in front of Ieharu with the bat held tight in his hands as he faced Ishiki, spreading his feet apart in a steady stance. He scowled angrily at Ishiki, waves of anger rolling off him like a heatwave. Dammit, following Ieharu really was the worst decision he'd ever made. He'd gotten beaten up, he'd seen people shot at and die and revive, and now he was getting into a fight with his national level club captain who was probably going to expel him after this. Which meant his scholarship was doomed, since one of the conditions was being in a club. Well, it wasn't like Ishiki would want people to know that he'd been beating up people, so it might not happen. Probably. He scowled, keeping his eyes on Ishiki. "I don't owe you anymore after this, got it?" he muttered behind him to Ieharu, frustration in his tone.

Why was he doing this again? Oh yeah, because he owed Ieharu and because Ishiki wanted him not to. And more importantly, because he was pissed off as all hell. Trying not to think about how screwed he probably was, Ryuu raised the bat, brandishing it at Ishiki. "You're the one who's going to die," he said surely, hiding the uncertainty he felt.

"Wow, really?" Ishiki let out a chuckle like Ryuu had just told a joke, his eyes creasing up with humor. "That was the best you could come up with? Man, and I thought no one could be worse then Jin when it comes to name calling." A cocky look came over his face, and it was obvious that he believed that Ryuu couldn't beat him. His eyes narrowed condescendingly down on the blonde. "Obviously I thought wrong." He slid into the same stance as before while Ryuu's eyes narrowed, the only sign that the words had gotten to him. "Well, even if you're going against me," and the look on his face said that he couldn't believe how dumb Ryuu was being "you're still my kouhai. I'll give you a chance to drop out so I can go back to killing that kid." It was obvious he meant Ieharu. "What do you say?"

Ryuu didn't say anything, merely raised the bat over his shoulder like he was going for a swing, setting his shoulders sturdily like he was made out of fluid rock. The answer was obvious.

Ishiki nodded like he'd expected it. "Alright then," he said, and darted forwards. He ducked low under the bat's swing and aimed a punch at Ryuu's face, which moved out of the way as he spun with the swing. The first year aimed a kick at Ishiki, who dodged out of the way, and they continued to exchange blows as Ieharu crawled over to his brother's side, his face contorting in pain as the weight of his injuries made itself known. He watched the battle worriedly. It was obvious that even though Ryuu was holding his ground, it wasn't enough. While he was more agile and had extra reach, Ishiki was able to get in under his guard and had more power to his blows. Ryuu was outclassed, and the smile on Ishiki's face and the relaxed, almost playful way he moved against Ryuu's harsh swings and the determined way Ryuu gritted his teeth said that they knew it too. It was only a matter of time before the fight was over.

Soon enough Ishiki had Ryuu cornered. He knocked the bat out of Ryuu's grip with a lazy swipe and smiled down at him, wiping blood away from the split lip on his mouth. "You're good, I admit that. But not good enough." Ryuu glared defiantly at him as Ishiki raised a bruised fist for the knockout, certain of his victory. "Any last words?"

"This ends here," muttered the words of an approaching figure. Ishiki started to turn his head towards the voice, but a sudden force sent Ishiki's body off balance. Izaya scored a clean hit across Ishiki's face. Izaya's body rolled across the ground briefly. He recovered shortly after, coming to his feet. He positioned himself directly inbetween Ishiki and Ryuu. Iz was a part of the back up they called in; however, this wasn't the kind of help they had in mind. The other members stood in shock realizing that Iz really had just attacked their captain of all people. The man who never loses or even gets hurt. He's doomed they thought. Ryuu's eyes widened in surprise at the unexpected help, but wasted no time in rolling to his feet as he snatched up the bat. Raising it warily, he glanced at the other newcomers before his head turned to see who had interrupted the beatdown.

Izaya was breathing hard as if he'd ran a marathon, but stood tall with a confident demeanor. His eyes fixated on Ishiki like a hawk staring at it's target. Please stay down. Izaya was terrified at what he'd just done being that the captain was no ordinary fighter, but he couldn't stand idle while someone was getting hurt. A hero would never back down regardless of the situation. This was the right action no matter how this works out. Ishiki regained his composure almost immediately. The look in his eyes were more demonic and his rage was completely evident. Izaya's blood boiled to the point where he felt he could burst. This is the man who's leading the martial arts club. This is the one he's been looking up towards. He seemed hero like being strong, cool and speaking on positive ideals, but he's really scum like this? Before he knew it, he was yelling at him. "Attacking your own club member Ishiki?! Ganging up on students!" he continued, "I thought you taught us about self defense! Protecting the weak and helping others! What are you doing?!"

"More like what are you doing?" Ishiki frowned at Izaya, rubbing his cheek absentmindedly. The captain looked surprised, and very frustrated. "I sent you here for backup! Not to punch my face in the moment I was just about to land a finishing blow!" His frown turned into a glare. Normally he would try being nice to get Izaya back on his side, but today had been a very long day. What had promised to be an easy job was turning into a freakishly difficult one, with weird shootings and crazy kids on steroids and his own club members not being up to snuff, and what with yet another club member going against him and robbing him of the satisfaction of showing his underclassman that he was nothing, Ishiki was at the end of his tether. "And obviously I was showing this stupid new club member of ours his place! He went against me!" He looked scornfully at Izaya. "And what, you thought I actually meant that bullshit?! Are you a retard?! It was just so the teachers wouldn't get rid of the club. Those who are weak deserve to be nothing but dust under the feet of the strong!"

"Finishing blow?! Bullshitting?! This is ridiculous!" He said while prepping himself in a defensive stance. He placed his left foot bent forward while his right slightly further back. His hands stood out slightly extended to deflect any incoming attack. Although he'd gotten a nice sucker punch in, Izaya knew that Ishiki was more skilled, stronger, and tougher than he was in every way. He could literally feel the killing intent from Ishiki and the pressure to defend the guys behind him building up. His body started trembling on his own, but he couldn't back down. A hero never back downs. He would never back down. Ryuu, the underwear kid and the others need an avenue to escape at least. What are the options? What can he do? What is the next best choice? Fear slowly surged through his mind as he thought of fighting a losing battle against Ishiki, but he began to quell his negative thoughts with only one word in mind, 'hero'. The others safety is more important than his own right now. He can get through this. This will all work out. Stand up, be confident, and do what you can. At the top of his lungs he once again yelled, "Your club is nothing but a sham! I refuse to stand for this villainy!"

"Yeah, you and what army?!" Theatrically, Ishiki snapped his fingers, and on cue the remaining club members surrounded Izaya and the other first years. Like a villain in a Shakespearean stage, Ishiki laughed, low and chilling. "These might be my second choice, but they're a thousand times better then you." Recollecting himself from his sudden fit, Ishiki smoothed a hand through his hair and snapped his fingers twice. The milling club members cracked their knuckles ominously, smirks on their faces as they moved closer towards Izaya and the others like wolves about to be released into a pasture.

"You're not even worth my time." Ishiki said scornfully, looking at them like they were insects under his shoe. "What, you don't like the way I run the club?" He said sarcastically, seeing the glares Ryuu and Iz were shooting his way. "Then join another club. In fact," Ishiki said slowly, smiling meanly as he savoured the words, "You don't need to turn up for the next session. The two of you are expelled from the club, starting today. I have no need for members who refuse to follow what I say."

A smirk came on Izaya's face. "Fine then! Forget your club! I'll make my own!" He dropped his stances and begun with his own theatrics as if he's giving a motivation speech. He held his hand at his chest while the other soared through the air, "A club that'll stand on real principles! One that will help the weak and protect the people!" He then removed his hand from his chest and slowly extended it own towards Ishiki. With a closed fist facing Ishiki, his index finger gradually moved out and pointed directly at him and Izaya said, "One that will stop people like you, everytime and anytime."

"I'll join that club, but only if I get to be vice-president." Ryuu said, trying not to sound too eager. The hope which had sunken deep down into his shoes suddenly found lift at Izaya's words. The ticket to his salvation! A chance to salvage his permanent living areas! Hiding his rising hope at salvaging his situation, he glared at the enemy. "Better than staying with these bunch of dogs anyway."

"Of course, you helped inspire this idea! Be my sidekick, Ryuu!" he says while imagining his hero club full of students with masks, temporarily forgetting the situation they were in.

"Sidekick?!" Temporarily aggrieved, Ryuu shot a scowl at Izaya that looked more insulted then anything else. "I'm no sidekick." Brandishing the bat in two hands like a club, Ryuu turned around to stand back to back with Izaya, scowling furiously at the other club members. There was no despair in his face, only determination and a cold sort of fury. "If anything we're partners, got it?!"

Ryuu looked a mess, with a rapidly blackening eye and a split lip and bruises everywhere, but his eyes were focused and he still moved with fluid grace as he steadied himself like a batter up at the plate. Everything hurt, and this vision kept getting blurry whenever he didn't concentrate, but fuck that! After everything that had happened, he wasn't going to let them win. Ignoring Izaya, Ryuu glared at the others, moving in front of Ieharu and the others like a bear ready to protect her cubs. Ieharu was still crying over his brother, who didn't even look like he was breathing. The two of them were in no shape to fight, let alone move. Ryuu's grip on his bat tightened at the sight, and he looked away towards the club members scornfully. Screw these guys, he wasn't going to let them win after all this. "Better than this lot of dogs anyway."

The upperclassmen scowled at the insult, and Ryuu channeled the urge to yell at Ieharu, who'd started crying after getting a good look at his brother's body, as well as the fear over the loss of his scholarship into rage, glaring at this former club compatriots. They replied with cocky smirks. After all, the battered boy hardly looked like he could put up a fight. Then for the first time a small smile, dark and vindictive, came over his face, teeth tinged red with blood as anger rolled off him in waves, and suddenly they weren't so sure. "What about you, Chester?"

There was a flash of movement behind Ishiki as Chester punched the back of his head as hard as he possibly could, focusing his entire weight on his fist. "Sorry..." He said apologetically as he seemed to vanish once more when Ishiki whirled around, his presence disappearing just outside of Ishiki's vision. Everyone but Ryuu jolted backwards, some yelling in shock as the blue haired boy, who had been forgotten until now, reappeared into their vision like a ghost apparating out of thin air. Joining a club was something he had yet to do, and the one Izaya called a 'hero club' seemed very ludicrous. Still, it was worth a try. "At this stage, I don't think I have much of a choice, do I?" Chester sighed softly as he backed away a few steps, stopping at Izaya's side.

Izaya smiled as he realized he'd already gotten his first two members. The trembling in his body stopped and the feigned confidence he portrayed towards Ishiki slowly began to become courage. This could be done. He was fired up. He shifted his gaze to the boy next to Ryuu once again in his underwear and asked, "What about you, Ie... Ie...haku?" He thought back to the fiasco this kid caused earlier, "Will you join us? Be the protector or the protected? I've seen what you can do." This kid could be a great asset, but without him, they could still charge in. They have a chance to take down Ishiki and his goons. Standing there, with Ryuu holding a bat determinedly at his left and Chester lounging cooly at his right, they were the picture of inspiration.

Ieharu looked up at Izaya and the others, tears in his eyes. Even after he managed to roll his elder brother onto his back, Ieyoshi still wasn't moving. He didn't even look like he was breathing. And Godot wouldn't help him for some reason! Worse, he could barely feel his body. He remembered everything he did while under the influence of Godot's... "dying will" or whatever he said, but he simply couldn't believe it. It was like a dream. A dream that really... really hurt. He could swear some of his teeth were loose, and the sour metallic taste of his own blood still filled his mouth. His arm hurt every time he moved it. To be honest, it was probably broken. Plus, he was naked again! Naked and surrounded by a bunch of people. Again. And Ieyoshi wouldn't wake up, no matter how many times he called his name.

Ieharu looked away from Izaya. "I'll protect my brother," he muttered through his own sniffling, looking sideways at Godot as he continued. "Someone has to." Though there wasn't much he'd be able to do anyway. With all the damage he'd taken from that monster Ishiki, it took everything that he had just to remain conscious.

"Thanks man, you're a natural born hero already. I'm Izaya, future hero!" He waved, then remembered that they still were in a dangerous situation. Good thing Ishiki and his members were pretty patient. The support received by these three gave Izaya a surge of overwhelming hope. Maybe he wasn't crazy for standing up to Ishiki alone. This is working out he muttered to himself. With his regained confidence he said boldly as he darted headfirst towards Ishiki, "This is the first task of the Hero Club! To take down the rest of the martial arts goon! Come on guys!"

"Hero Club?!" Ryuu said incredulously. The bat swung in a blur as the club members scattered out of the way, and he swished the bat above and behind him just in time to hit the face of the club member who had tried to sneak up on him from behind. There was a crunch of bone, and the teen stumbled backwards, his hand going up to cup a broken nose. Why heroes?! Heroes only existed in books, unlike villains. Any hero in real life were just fakes who were out for rewards and fame and self gratification. There was always an ulterior motive somewhere, it was just how people were. It was an awful name for the club he needed to join, but... "Agh, whatever. Let's get this over and done with already!" he muttered, jabbing his elbow into another club member's gut.

Chester's form flashed as a club member tried to land a blow on him, instead appearing behind him once again and landing a blow on his back. When the member regained his balance and spun around, Chester was no longer there, once again at his back without fail. He might not be good combat wise, but at stealth attacks there was hardly any that can best him, his eyes scanning the opponents for gaps in their peripheral vision and slipping through. "Wait a second, before I get myself into this club any deeper... Are all the activities beating people up? When? I can't stay back for that long."

"Probably not, since we're the 'heroes club'," Ryuu said dryly, connotations practically visible around the words. He dodged to the side as one of the goons smashed to where his head was and brought the bat up to deflect another hit, wincing at the sudden movement. Despite the fact that his body ached painfully, Ryuu forced himself to move as quickly as possible, hitting everybody who wasn't a first year in sight with precise, sharp blows. Screw it, he was hurting too much to hold back. At this stage he was just fed up with the whole thing. "That is a terrible name, why not we just make it the 'Odd Jobs Club'? It's a lot better then stupid heroes anyway."

"The Odd Jobs Club doesn't sound quite as appealing, but that's beside the point. Can we argue about this later?" Chester suggested as he ducked a flying punch inches away from his head, before disappearing again.

Izaya punched another martial arts goon who was luckily less skilled than he was. He received a few punches from him, but Izaya's previous painful escapades such as falling form a tree was much more painful. "We'll work out the meeting times, maybe even have hero masks! The possibilities are endless!" He says while hitting another goon.

"No way we're going to have hero masks. Too much attention." Chester sighed quietly. His luck wasn't the best today, it appears that he had involved himself once again in something quite troublesome. Beside him, Ryuu nodded vehemently in agreement. "Hero masks look dumb anyway," he added as he shoved the upperclassmen away. Even though they were putting up a good job fighting, they had to struggle to keep the upper hand, and they were slowly getting forced back into a small circle as the club members surrounded them, herding them towards each other.

A few shadowy figures started to form in the distance. "Is back up here? I know we called for another set," one of the goons said out loud.

Ishiki sighed, bringing his hand to his forehead and massaging his brow. None of this was going as planned. All of these little first years kept crawling out of the woodwork like cockroaches, and they wouldn't go away. It just kept getting worse. He glanced down briefly at his hands once more before taking another look around, assessing the situation. That steroid punk and his homicidal pedo friend had disabled his best members, and this backup B-team was getting handled. And Aka—

Ishiki swept the area with his eyes. Where was Akako? Did she leave him? When did she leave? Was it after that brat forced him to touch the ground? That's just like her, to bail at an inopportune moment. It was a wonder he even tolerated her crap. It must've been her, then, that called for the other members to come assist them as backup then, because he sure as hell didn't. That's when he noticed it. A familiar sort of pressure emanating from his right side. Slowly, he turned his head to glower at this new threat, holding back the urge to wince. It had to be slowly, because his neck, let alone his entire body, was still in a pretty serious amount of pain.

Step by step, Damien continued walking straight towards Ishiki still a slight distance away. His aura gave off an inhuman vibe while his eyes stood fixed upon the leader. In his right hand, he held the collar of one of Ishiki's martial arts members knocked out cold and dragged him across the ground with no concern of his injuries. A little way behind him, Enn was dragging another unconscious member carelessly by the foot with one hand, the older teen's face jerking whenever it hit a bump on the ground. The happy smile and cheerful bounce in his step contrasted Daimen's downturned scowl and jerky movements sharply, but his bloodthirsty aura and the battle-happy look in his eyes were on par with Damien's pitchblack vibe. Behind them, an uninjured but upset Shou carrying their bags kept up the rear guard with a worried look on his face, eyes widening with shock that rapidly turned to worry as he took in the scene before him.

"Take this!" A martial arts member ran towards Damien to hit him from his side.

Without changing his pace or gaze, Damien merely hit him once to the face sending him flying back and continued his path directly towards Ishiki. Two more men came charging in their direction. Damien stopped in his tracks for a brief second and said, "Enn, can you handle this for me? I need to have a word with the soon to be departed."

"Boo, I wanted to fight the tough one!" Enn pouted at Damien, the action more at home on a child then a fifteen year old male. The rest of them were so weak! Not fun at all. The look on Damien's face brooked no argument though, so Enn turned to face the remaining members sulkily, dropping the unconscious guy he'd been dragging onto the floor. "Only because you were the one asking, ok? And you owe me a fight tomorrow!"

Damien responded with a smirk at Enn, "Just don't get worn out today from these guys, and we'll see."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izaya Ryujin Character Portrait: Chester Sterling Character Portrait: Ryuu Morimoto Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Godot Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera Character Portrait: Tsuneo Kure Character Portrait: Shou Arasaka
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This monster post is PART 2 of the team effort made by the following: KumoriKitsune, Lloyd999, Alle9009, Moahi, Pandora's Melancholy, Xunnamius. Wow!




"Hahaha, good joke Damien!" Enn laughed brightly as he turned to face the other members, who looked like they weren't sure what to make of him. Looking at them, Enn felt himself brightening. More people to fight, and maybe they wouldn't be as weak as the one's him and Damien taken down earlier! The menacing aura around Enn grew larger as he raised his arms fluidly, and Shou closed his eyes in what looked like a prayer as a smile worthy of being in a slasher movie grew across Enn's face. The upperclassmen gulped nervously as one, sweat trickling down their backs.

Enn darted forwards so fast that he was almost a blur, eyes wide with maniacal glee. "Let's play~!"

Damien ignored the terrified screams, childish cackling and the sounds of flesh hitting flesh as he walked to the boss. Finally, he stood right in front of Ishiki looking him right into the eyes. He dropped the man he dragged previously.

Ishiki sighed, bringing his hand to his neck once more. Where were all of these people even coming from? They needed a new secret location after this. Suddenly, he realized his patience was at its end. Akako was gone, his best guys were on the floor, he was hurt, and stupid children kept jumping in. And who was this tough guy twerp who dared to stand up to him? "Hey kid," he muttered, rubbing his neck. Perhaps he was a bit more injured than he wanted to admit. "I've seen you around with that steroid brain over there," he said, thrusting his chin in Ieyoshi's direction. "Maybe you should go check on him, huh? My guys kicked his ass pretty goo—"

Damien grabbed him by the throat without giving him a second to finish his statement. "Next time, death," was all he muttered to him. He sent a highly precise kick at Ishiki's achilles heel. He won't be able to walk straight for at least a couple of weeks, but having crutches over losing your life seems like a fair deal. "Out of my sight," he said throwing him back. As soon as he hit the ground, Ishiki wasn't even a being in Damien sight. He became a ghost and so insignificant to not even be acknowledged. The twins were the focus of his gaze. Ieyoshi was knocked out but Ieharu was still conscious. Never again will they be let out of his sight. He went up to Ieharu, taking his own coat off and draping it around the twin's shoulders.

"Damien," Ieharu wheezed, trying his best to muster up a grin at the sight of so close a friend. He managed it for only a second. "Where ya been?" At this point, he was barely speaking at more than a whisper. Suddenly, he lost consciousness, falling backwards. Little spots of red began to seep through Damien's coat, from where Ieharu's unprotected back slid across the pavement earlier. His right arm was also beginning to turn a nasty shade of purple near the shoulder joint.

He quickly caught Ieharu with a soft grip. He was extremely light. He looked at Ieharu with a bit of grief on his face. He really did try hard. He didn't expect Ieharu to put up much of a fight, but the information he'd received from the martial arts members him and Enn took out together, he made a good amount of noise. "I'm sorry Haku. Next time, I'll be there regardless of roadblocks." Next time, he'd just have to go against Ieyoshi's wishes. He's been trained for moments like these and his first opportunity where he's needed, he'd failed. Never again. He picked up Ieharu and shifted his limp form away from Ieyoshi's.

"Hey you guys over there," he called, obviously referring to Izaya, Chester, and the mad hatter himself, Ryuu. "I just want to say thanks for helping out the twins." He went over Ieyoshi's side and bent down slightly without putting Ieharu in an uncomfortable position. He stood looking at his closest friend on the ground. Instead of shaming him, he gave him a chance to revive himself. He said in his casual manner, "Hey Batman, Gotham needs you. Get up, a Hokage can't protect this village alone."

"No problem sir, it's a heroes duty to protect others!" he said replying to Damien's gratitude. "We did it, we did it," Izaya chanted. "Hero club, Hero club!" He continued with his own theme song. He surprisingly had enough energy to continue and did his own seemingly cool hero poses. He was cut off with a yelp of pain as Ryuu punched him harshly in the shoulder, expression deadpan.

"What 'we'? We still needed help," he said tiredly, leaning on the bat the way an old man would use a cane. Scowling like he had no clue how to respond to the gratitude Damien was showing, he gave a grudging nod of thanks towards Damien. "And I still think Odd Jobs club is better then the Hero Club. Whoever heard of a club being called the Hero Club anyway?"

"Pssst, Ryuu," Izaya whispered quite loudly to him. "We'll be fine. We're the Heroooooo club," he said with an exaggerated title. "We shall recover, and fight another day!"

"Odd Jobs Club," Ryuu shot back, glowering childishly at Izaya. There wasn't much heat behind his glare, however. "And what fight another day, we'd have lost if they hadn't turned up - are you even listening to me?!"

"We?" Chester questioned wearily as he came to a stop. Enn and Damien seemed to finish it within a matter of minutes, why didn't he think of calling them earlier? It would have saved them so much time and trouble. At least someone was happy about this whole scenario however, and Chester was considerate enough not to rain on his parade.

"Yes! We! The Hero Club, hero club," he continued singing with Ryuu's rebuttal. New determination shown in Ryuu's eyes. and the duo started to chant "hero club" and "odd jobs club" like children saying "is too!" and "is not!" over something they believed to be truth until Chester tried to break into their argument with little to no success.

"Guys, guys! Can't we settle this by flipping a coin or something? This isn't particularly important, is it?"

Without warning, Ieyoshi inhaled sharply. In the next moment, he sat up, using his arm to balance himself. It didn't take him long to assess the situation. Damien was here, which meant Ieharu was safe. That's all that mattered. "Ugh," he groaned like the walking dead, running his hand through his hair. "Hero hero hero," he chimed in, doing his best Izaya impression. "So loud. Can't you just let me rest in peace?" He eyed Damien when he spoke his next line. "And did somebody call for Batman?"

Damien smiled and said, "Welcome back Bruce. All has been handled."

That's when it all came back to him, in a sudden wave of memory. "ISHIKI!" He hissed, the faintest whiff of panic underlining his voice, but it dissipated after noticing that Ishiki was nowhere in his immediate vicinity. "Guess you guys kicked his butt, huh." Something else had caught Ieyoshi's eye, however. Something annoying. Something unsatisfactory. Something that, if he weren't feeling so hung over, he'd have handled with much fire and brimstone.

"Oh, you're still here, nanny?" From his tone, it was obviously meant to be taken as an insult. "Gonna shoot me again?!"

Clap, clap, clap. A man—the one Ieyoshi had referred to as "nanny"—applauded.

"Congratulations, boys," the mysterious man said, "Today has been very productive. Haku," he smirked at Ieharu, "Looks like we were able to successfully bring out your resolve and use it for a useful purpose. We also got to see your brother's dying will, but it appears..." Godot approached Ieharu and Ieyoshi. He looked down at the twins. "... that his dying will is rather special. I'll tell you two about that later you later. Still, it appears we've accomplished a lot more than I intended for today's lesson." Godot looked around at the various students who were still around, those that had joined in the conflict against Ishiki. "Why, it appears you two have managed to start something. You've united your friends against a common enemy, good on you. You two are regular revolutionaries! What's your secret, hmm?"

"Fuck. You." Ieyoshi said flat out. "Really. Fuck you."

"Ah, nevermind that," Godot continued, "Let's head home now, I'm hungry..." Godot paused to think, looking toward his side. "Although, I suppose it would be best if we had your injuries healed and made sure your brother was alright." Godot scratched the back of his neck. "But... if you're up for it, I guess us three could go out for some ice cream, if that'll make you feel better. It'll be my treat." Godot didn't want to mention that this entire incident was practically his fault, from the first bullet he shot, and there was also the fact that he never stepped in to protect them.

Damien looked at the seemingly misplaced man, "Hey, who the hell is this guy? And don't be so casual with the twins." He didn't even notice him until he begun his spiel on the twins.

"He's our new nanny" Ieyoshi said, spitting out the words like they were venomous. "That no-good Tsuna brought him in like a week ago and ever since all this weird shit has been going on."

Izaya asked, "Ice cream does sound good, are you inviting all of us? No one who invites kids for ice cream could be that bad."

"No. No they might be very bad." Chester looked at Izaya with an air of disbelief.

As if on cue, Ryuu gave Izaya a (gentle) dope slap on the shoulder. "Have your parents never taught you not to listen to strangers? And are we just going to overlook the fact that he just SHOT someone?"

"Hmm, but strangers could be potential people that need help...and ice cream is so good," he said partly ignoring the shot part.

"Or they could be people looking to kidnap someone or worse, you dolt. And," Ryuu shrugged with one shoulder as he responded to Chester, "They're still alive. I say that counts as something. If we do go though, I want a strawberry vanilla chocolate combo." Ryuu muttered, mind drifting at the thought of ice cream, Mmmm, free icecream... maybe if it wasn't by Beretta McTrigger-happy though.

Godot shot a glare at Izaya. "You'll get ice cream from me when you beat me within an inch of my life, and then some!" Then, Godot's expression changed back to it's original friendly state as he chuckled. It was hard to tell if he was joking or not. Then he sighed in defeat. "I suppose I have no choice, heroes."

"Hmmm, I think that goes around my Hero code, might not be able to do that," he replied while putting himself in a thinking pose. "I'll have to think about how to do that. Hero club, organize."

"We're not heroes, and the club is Odd Jobs Club, not the hero club you idjit," Ryuu said defeatedly, but he stayed quiet and paid attention to Godot anyway. Finally, explanations! The only way this could've been weirder was if he'd waken up perfectly happy to his parent's cooking breakfast in his own house, and he wanted to know what the hell had been going on.

"Perhaps I should introduce myself formally," Godot put his hands in his pockets and stood awfully proudly, "I suppose I hadn't yet done that to my own little students yet." He chuckled. "I am the Hitman Tutor Godot and I am under the employment of the Sawadas. All that really means is that I'm these two little munchkins' home tutor, who carries a pretend gun around." Godot then brought his gun out of his pocket and pointed it at a wall. "As you can see, it's very well made." Godot then began to fire off several shots at the wall. They made a 'pop, pop, pop' sound, but they didn't sound anything like the shots Godot fired off earlier. Orange paint splattered onto the wall where it hit, the impacts creating 'smack' sounds that echoed off the walls. "It's an, uh... educational device."

Right, a TOY gun that nearly knocked Ieyoshi out and made him return like a zombie. Chester was beginning to wonder if he should start feeling insulted by the lack lustre explanation given. Besides, the thing that burned in Ieharu's head was definitely a flame. His eyes were keen, and there was a definite difference between paint and a flickering flame. Shou didn't look convinced either, and Ryuu raised an eyebrow skeptically, making it evident that they weren't quite believing Godot either.

"Nonetheless," Godot continued, "I guess you could call me a sort of special home tutor. I'm not the kind that just helps you shrimps with homework that'll never teach you anything. No, I teach essentials. A lot of good pythagorean theorem will do for you when you're fighting for other's lives." Godot glanced to the side. "I'm kind of expensive though."

"Home tutor," Damien said with a smile. "Oh, you're the guy!" He finally pieced it together, "I didn't know the details from my father, but he briefly mentioned someone like you coming soon." He fixed himself up to no longer hold an aggressive demeanor even though he was still carrying Ieharu. "Forgive my rudeness, I didn't know who you were. I'm Damien, Hayato's son, in case you didn't know." This was one of the few times Damien would actually be a bit respectful to authority, only when it is mafia related.

"Don't act all polite to him, Dam." Ieyoshi muttered, refusing to look Godot in the eye. "Just look at him. He doesn't deserve it." The elder twin grabbed his sibling's limp hand, stringing his fingers through his brother's and squeezing tight. After a moment, it seemed that Ieharu began to breathe a little easier.

Ah things were going just great. Damien knew him too apparently, and the stranger seemed to have something to do with his Father? Regardless, Chester was pretty eager to leave. "Well, if no one needs me now.. I'd be off thank you very much." He said, raising his hand slightly as if asking a question. Before he even got a reply however, Chester was off in a flash, nearly vanishing from view like he did in the fight, hiding in the blind spots of their vision as he made his exit. There was no point in staying when they seemed to solve their own problems, and he had his butterfly waiting for him at home.

Beside them, Enn piped up despite Shou's best efforts to keep him quiet. "That sounds awesome~!" He bounded cheerfully over to Godot, eyes shining with awe. It was pretty obvious that he didn't really care that his friends were injured - just one assessing glance at them like they were covered in water instead of blood and injuries and that was it. "Teach me too! I want to fight strong people too! Please?!" He moved around Godot like a puppy wagging its tail, directing his most pleading puppy eyes at Godot. "Please please please-"

"Enn!" Shou grabbed his brother and pulled him away from Godot, placing a hand over his mouth, "Sorry about him," he said apologetically, trying not to shake as Enn gradually stilled under his hold, still pulling off his most doggy eyes at Godot. Normal people didn't know about the Dying Will Flame, which meant that what had happened wasn't normal and was probably related to the mafia and that wasn't good; he'd had came to Japan to get away from anything related to the mafia, why was it turning up here of all places? Shou felt like crying as he felt his hope for a normal life shatter into dust, but gathered himself together enough to form a wavering smile. "Um, please don't pay any attention to what he said just now. We, uh, we can't afford it anyway."

"Just take 'em," Ieyoshi grumbled under his breath.

"Ah, that's alright," Godot replied, "just be careful. I might teach you boys something on accident. Wouldn't that be terrible?" Godot stared at something on the ground, apparently thinking about something. "Hey, heroes," he said to the group, "maybe you guys could perhaps demonstrate some good intentions by taking a look at the bad guy over there?" Godot nodded toward Ishiki, who was still on the ground and practically forgotten about.

"We're not heroes," Ryuu muttered automatically, but he went to check on Ishiki anyway, wincing as his body ached from the movement. Ugh, resting sounded like a really good idea now. Maybe he should skip school tomorrow... nah, his aunt'd murder him if he stayed in the house any longer than he did already. He made his way to Ishiki, limping a little. The guy was dangerous, he wasn't planning on letting someone else check on Ishiki just to get taken hostage or whatever. Keeping a healthy distance away, he looked over at the teen, whom had assumed a cross-legged position on the ground. "Nothing really wrong with him," he called out, bat still at the ready. Ishiki let out a low growl, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration.

A girl's voice called out, "Get away from him!" Ishiki's girlfriend, Akako, was approaching quickly. For some reason, she was absent for a majority of Ishiki's fight. Akako didn't seem so threatening without anybody beside her, but expression seemed like that of pure fury. Akako quickly came to crouch by her boyfriend's side. "Ishiki, look at you," she said to him, almost soothingly, "You're hurt. They beat you bad. How awful. How terrible." Then, strangely, the tone of Akako's voice began to change, as she steadily spoke louder. "How awful! How terrible!" Then, Akako bent down to whisper one word to him; "Useless."

"You hear me?" Akako stood up and began to shout, "You're useless! You and your stupid martial arts! International, my foot! Can't even beat two first years? You couldn't even punch that wimp Ieharu down! You know what's going to happen to you now? Rosa's not going to associate herself with weaklings, but you? You disgrace me! You can't do a single thing I say right! Your terrible, awful! People just call you cool because they think you're all that, but you know what? Nobody likes you! Yeah, that's right. First chance they got, all these kids came here to beat your stupid face in! Kinda says something, don't you think? And, you know what? I don't even like martial arts! Do you think I enjoyed a single moment whenever I was in that same rancid-smelling room with you disgusting, sweaty guys? Hah! I never even liked you. You're always thinking about yourself, and you'd act like such a moron whenever you talked about yourself and your stupid club. Give me a little attention, you dumbass. Think you're so tough? Remember those guys that came for backup? Guess who told them to come here? Me! Why? Because you're an idiot who can't even look beyond himself even if their life depended on it. God, you don't even deserve to live, you..." Akako stalled a bit to find a word, "You bletch." Akako crossed her arms and didn't look at him anymore.

"And you call him self centered," Ryuu said, eyebrows raised high as he looked at her. Geez, he'd always thought of her as a bitch, but not this much of one. He almost felt sorry for Ishiki now. The guy looked shocked at Akako's outburst, like he'd never expected her to feel that way. "Talk about black pot and kettles. You're more self centered than he is, the way you use him. In fact, the two of you fit perfectly together considering how alike you dingbats are." He knew he was running his mouth, but Ryuu didn't like the way Akako behaved, like she was entitled to the world and nothing was her fault. He rested the bat lightly against his shoulder. "Although skank might be a better word for you instead," he muttered thoughtfully, not realizing that he was speaking loud enough for Akako to hear him.

"Bite me," was all that she responded with. She didn't need to waste her breath on unrelated parties. She wasn't told to pick on him, after all. Only Ishiki needed to be cut off, Rosa told Akako.

Ieyoshi squinted at the trio, all their shouting and barking and banter doing nothing for his splitting migraine. He wasn't allowed to drink, but this had to be what a hangover felt like. Ugh. He got to his feet, still grasping his brother's hand. He held out his other hand, making a "gimmie" motion to Damien, his intent obvious. When Damien let Ieharu down, Ieyoshi picked him up piggy-back style, wrapping his arms under the boy's legs and allowing his brother's body to lean against his back.

"Well, uh, we're outta here or whatever." He made sure to throw Godot his meanest glare before turning his back to the man. "Fucking toy gun my ass." He uttered, again under his breath. "We're gonna go, 'cause if we get there after my mom does and she sees Haku, well... it won't turn out well for anyone." Without further ado, Ieyoshi began walking towards the lot's exit.

"R-Right, we should probably get you guys to the hospital." Shou looked worriedly at them, as if he was only now registering the boys battered states. Ryuu shrugged like he didn't care about it and walked over to reach for the bags Shou was holding, grabbing his own with a small sigh of relief. The group turned to walk away from the scene of carnage behind them, forming an odd picture - Damien and Ieyoshi leading the way with Ieyoshi carrying the still mostly naked Ieharu, Izaya and Ryuu together at the left a little bit behind them looking completely battered and arguing about the name for their club again and searching for a coin, Enn and Shou a little to the right as Enn smiled like he'd just had a nice workout and Shou with a worried crease in his forehead like he was expecting the teachers to pop up at any moment. Behind all of them was the mysterious figure Godot. Almost every aspect about him seemed to be an indication that this was not a man to be trusted, yet in truth, he wasn't really looking to be trusted. He smirked as he watched the boys, talk and debate among themselves, like any group of boys would after a group effort. It was almost like they'd forgotten that there were people still beaten up behind them.

Shou did look back, anxious about the unconscious students, but his head snapped back forwards at the sight of a purple-haired man standing next to Akako, smiling and relaxed like he had been there the whole while. A shudder ran down his spine as he gently pushed Enn and the others forwards, and soon enough the group were at the gate, going their separate ways like it had just been any other normal school day.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa Character Portrait: Ai Shaji
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Wrong. It was just wrong. Okay, maybe it wasn't wrong, per say, but it wasn't entirely right either. It was fine, but it wasn't perfect. That was why it was unacceptable.

Rosa adjusted the bouquet, plucking the artificial roses from the plastic vase and placing it in a slightly different position, shifting leaves around and so forth. Rosa would then stand and stare, take a look at it from a different angle, and then pluck the rose again, repeating the process. Rosa was putting way more effort into this miniature bouquet than she needed to, but Rosa believed that she needed to convey her message perfectly; that the Sawada twins were dead.

"They really did die!" That's what Akako had apparently said yesterday, half-hysterical in her explanation. Akako's retelling of events was jumbled up, un-chronological, and mixed with delusions, but from what Rosa gathered was that after that suspicious-looking person made her stop recording, he proceeded to shoot seven different people with an AK-47, including the twins, but then they came back to life and proceeded to beat the school's elite fighter, Ishiki, close to death. Everything was on fire at that point, and then the world's military forces used kids in super-suits to fight off aliens. At least, that was what Rosa gathered from Tomoe after Akako told her. She might have been talking about an anime that watched one time midway through the explanation though.

What was true was that some time after the first supposed casualty, Akako had texted that the situation was getting out of hand. Naturally, Rosa told her just to get more backup, although apparently even that didn't work out. Somehow, these two boys that were tumbling on the wet ground in the morning managed to defeat Rosa's elite henchmen. Well, they were more like her grunts, her underling secret police and a big source of intimidation in the school. Still, it was quite a shock, but not something Rosa didn't act pragmatically about. The first step was to cut ties with Ishiki, which Akako handled quite succinctly. Of course, in order to make sure Ishiki wouldn't have become Rosa's problem again, she had to call somebody else to, well, console with him. A fellow senior, that is. Needless to say, Ishiki didn't come to school that day in order to reflect on his actions. Well, if reflection was done at the comforts of a hospital bed with a medical report which includes massive battering, confining Ishiki at an indefinite period. Then, it is perfect. Of course, Rosa needed to come up with a way to reaffirm her ties with the Martial Arts Appreciation club before they began to develop rancour toward her due to her rejection of the head. That would have to come later, however. For now, Rosa had a job to do.

That said, as much as Rosa was treating this as a serious chore, all the girls who had come with her to the room appeared to be treating it like a field trip. Besides the group, the only other person in the room was a pink-haired girl who seemed heedless to their presence, although the girls made sure she wouldn't rat on them. Akako was sitting on top of a desk to read her texts on her BluScreen while Erin was leaning by the doorway drinking an orange soda, despite the fact that it wasn't even nine in the morning yet. Tomoe, on the other hand, was going around sitting at desks as if she were a freshman again. Lala in her own part was reading a manga she brought with her, and she was enjoying herself, but took time to look at what was Rosa doing. "Rosa-chan, wouldn't it be more beautiful, if it was a real rose?"

"Because a natural rose," Rosa responded, not turning to face the girls, "isn't perfect. Almost nothing is perfect in its natural form." Rosa plucked the flower again, holding it high up and examining it. "Here's a rose that will never wilt, an everlasting image. Is it any less capable of beauty than a flower born from dirt and mud?" Rose twirled the flower in her fingers. "We can't control the fickle nature of ephemeral things not made by our own two hands... Are we not capable of making things more beautiful then they could ever be on their own?" Rosa placed the flower back in the vase and put her hand on her chin again.

That was a lot of complicated thought in Lala's understanding. She does understand Rosa's point of view, but to her things that are not within one's control, are at its most beauty incomparable to other things that stays for eternity. They have a life, a warmth, a light, which cannot be touched, cannot be copied even how much people try to comprehend. There are just things that were never meant to be understood and that was fine with her. It was at that period when her thoughts were only disturbed by the ever loud voice of Tomoe.

"Hey, Rosa!" Tomoe appeared to have no sense of indoor voice. She was taking a photo of the desks with her BluScreen. "Our seats were all together in the middle of the class, huh?" Tomoe tapped several different desks while calling off names. Rosa's desk certainly was in the nucleus of the room, with Tomoe's behind her and Akako next to her. Erin's seat was further toward the back corner of the room. "We all met in this room," Tomoe recalled, "all a bunch of friends in our first year! How nostalgic... Although, I guess Lala and Lyn weren't in our homeroom, huh?"

"You've been together since the beginning?" Lala looked at Tomoe with such child-like curiosity. [color=#6633ff][b]"That's so wonderful? How did you guys meet?" Her eyes of red like sparkling rubies as she put down her manga on her lap and waited for a response, in her head, she was already imagining such cliche imagies shown in those friendship movies.

[b]"I, uh..."
Tomoe looked at the desk as if the answer were written there, "I guess we just all sat together and talked a lot. Oh, but Rosa always helped me with my work whenever I had troubles,"—Akako and Erin were snickering as if it were an understatement—"but Rosa was always so nice and smart and cool and smart and nice." Tomoe looked toward Akako. "Us three were BFFs until we met you, and then were were four BFFs. I, uh, kinda forget when we became friends with Erin, and I guess Rosa's good friends with Lyn as well, so... That's us now, right?" Tomoe pranced over toward Rosa and asked, "Is the flower done yet?"

Lala had a thoughtful expression on her face. [color=#CD5C5C]"I see..."
Then, she looked back at Rosa who was still busy about the rose arrangement. She still has a bad feeling about all of this, but it does provide an outlet for Rosa. As her father would say, it was better out than in.

Rosa was bent over with her elbows on the desk and her hands on the sides of her face. She seemed to be getting frustrated. Rosa just couldn't feel that her message was getting across with this flower. It just wasn't matching her mental image, although she had only a vague idea of what that was. She made a low rumbling noise from the back of her throat. "How do I do this, how do I do this...?" Then it came to her, like a flash of enlightenment. She stood up and called, "Erin!" Erin was covering her mouth to try and cover up a repressed belch. She responded with a "Mmh-hm?" Rosa asked her, "Could you possibly help me out with this?" Erin nodded and quickly made her way across the room and stood right next to Rosa to look over the vase. She pressed her tongue to the side of her mouth where a small piercing was located. Then, with a subtle motion, Erin pushed the vase itself an inch to the right. Both girls then simultaneously brought their fists to their lips in a posture of consideration.

It was at this moment that Lala had the opportunity to ask what she had been meaning to, but never had the chance to. "Uhm, Tomoe-chan? Rosa-chan and Erin-chan are really in sync, aren't they?" She looked back at Tomoe and with a gentle smile. "Did all of you met just during freshmen year?" She really never had friends that hang out with like now. It is true that she was amiable to most, but connections with her are transient in nature, they never stick.

"Pretty much," Tomoe replied, "Although Rosa and Erin weren't always so agreeable. Would you believe it? Rosa and Erin used to fight all the time in the freshman year. Every time Erin opened her mouth, Rosa would be lecturing her or something. Oh, but then sometimes Erin would lecture, although normally she's kinda shy. I guess Erin's still a little shy, huh? I don't really have a clue as to why they didn't like each other so much, but apparently they knew each other from middle school, so maybe they had a misunderstanding or something? Either way, now that Rosa has tons of friends, Erin's become her friend as well. Erin doesn't talk much, but when she and Rosa are together—usually while all of us aren't around—they can go on for hours about the things they find cute or pretty. Erin might be a little scary, but she's an adorable little maiden on the inside, just like the rest of us!"

"Oohh..." Lala nodded her head in understanding as she listened to Tomoe's recount or more like opinion about Rosa and Erin. She looked at the said pair and even quirked her head to the side as she observed the two. The two looked really compatible with each other. Yes, as far as she was concerned, the group of them are friends, and she would like to consider them as good ones. This of course did not apply to Rosa and Erin in her honest gut-feeling. They were best of friends if both won't admit it or not. They know each other more than they would assume or admit to. It was endearing in her opinion. She was rather envious of that relationship and of course, she was also admiring it. "That's nice..."

Just as Tomoe was talking about it, Rosa and Erin were both in deep conversation, debating over whether the position of the vase or the orientation of the rose needed to be fixed. Both appeared to be putting in as much intellectual effort into their debate as possible, especially Erin, which was unusual for her, who rarely ever spoke much beyond a passing comment. Their debate was getting more heated, however, and Rosa was beginning to raise her voice and gesture wildly, while Erin was pounding her fist against the desk. Rosa stepped back and brought her hands out in the air. "Fine, you show me how its done." Erin shrugged as she shifted the vase to the center of the desk and adjusted it with the gentlest of motions. Then she stood back. Rosa stood and looked at it. "It's... It's good, it's very good. Thank you, Erin." Erin simply nodded her head and grabbed her soda from an adjacent desk to drink it, before placing it back down.

"A perfect message," Rosa announced, "to our dearest friends the Sawadas, who belong not in this life, but are better off to have passed on. Let us pray." Rosa brought her hands together, although as soon as she did, she brought her palms apart to consider something. "It's not finished, however..." Rosa approached the desk, and then with one swipe, knocked the plastic vase over. Erin was about to exclaim but she caught herself. "There," Rosa continued, "There's my message to the Sawadas. Screw them. They're presence, even in death, disgraces the very nature of our school morals and our disciplined, peaceful lives. They seek to cause nothing but chaos and anarchy in our school's perfect order. They are nothing but delinquents, rats among gerbils. If we do not exterminate them now, we will be swarmed by their impure kind. With this beautiful rose, I declare a war on imperfection!"

Erin was about to reach for her soda again when Rosa snatched it. Erin exclaimed, "Hey!" Rosa shook the can around, feeling how much of the fizzy, sticky drink was still in the can. It was a little over a quarter full. Rosa then proceeded to tip the can over and pour the contents of the drink on the desk and seat of Ieharu. Erin cried out, "I was drinking that!" After shaking the can out, Rosa then presented it back to Erin.

"Trash," Rosa told her. Erin stared at her. Rosa reiterated, "or rather, recycle." Erin appeared angry at first, but then her expression seemed to cool, turning into complete reservation. She didn't even grit her teeth or give an indignant sigh. Erin simply took the can and obediently walked to the corner of the room to throw it out.

Lala could not help but smile warmly at that before releasing a rather deep and thoughtful sigh. "Rosa-chan. Erin-chan, you two really get along well. It's refreshing to see." She was honestly giving her observation and a favorable one at her point of view. Then, she looked at what Rosa did to the desk and had a concerned expression. "But Rosa-chan, I still think this is a bad idea. It could have been just a misunderstanding." There was still the nagging feeling telling her that this whole skirmish might not do anyone good. She did already hear some rumors about how Ishiki was in the hospital and all. "Won't it be better, if we just talk to them. I know they would understand what wrong they did." She suggested then looked at Erin, it seems that they take each other's opinions into great consideration. "Don't you think so, Erin-chan? I just have this bad feeling."

"Screw 'em," Rosa and Erin said simultaneously. The girls shot glares at each other from across the room, although Erin's seemed to turn into a smirk, but then she averted Rosa's gaze. Tomoe giggled. "Well," Erin said, shrugging, "I guess Rosa should choose to do whatever she wants. She knows best, after all." The two girls appeared to have an unheard conversation as they stared at each other, consisting of side glances, lip pursing and eyebrow raising and furrowing. Rosa appeared to end it with a smirk.

"Well, clearly, our peaceful order is not upheld by violence," Rosa began to explain, the hypocrisy and blatant lies hanging over her like a swarm of yellowjacket wasps, "yet our enemies are still opaque to us. We do not know if they are capable of diplomacy, which is not worth the risk. After all, I don't know what I'd do if any of my girls..."–she narrowly avoided the word 'friends'–"...were hurt at all, like poor Ishiki. That said, Lala has a point. These boys just may be capable of intelligent thought, and the...direct approach in dealing with them may not be the most ideal one. More people are going to be hurt after all. We have a better method for dealing with their type."

And here it was, the Rosa-brand perfect solution for dealing with 'threats'. Step Number One was Stigmatisizing, or marking a target, which Rosa has accomplished with her lovely little flower. This message that she sent was less meant for the boys themselves and more for everybody else; that this person had become an enemy of Rosa. Even the most introverted student knew that being Rosa's enemy meant you became a public enemy. After all, who in their right mind would think they are more just than Rosa and not expect to be riddiculed by their friends. Likewise, those that didn't ridicule their friends for subverssive thoughts were bound to be riddiculed as well.

Step Number Two: Alienation; "First off, we should keep others informed, warn them of how dangerous these boys are. Perhaps we can minimalize the amount of incidents involving these boys by making sure nobody gets too close to them. Make sure to let your friends know that these boys are too dangerous. If they ever make any attempt to associate with them, be it talking, inclusion in activities or even just seemingly polite gestures, make sure to remind them of how troublesome the boys are, and also of the possible conesquences for such associations. After all, they might be in trouble with their own friends if they're also friends with such dangerous people."

Step Number Three: Humiliation; "Still, it's going to be so depressing to have these sorts of people around. I'm sure we're all feeling rather anxious with these big elephants in the school, but I'm sure that can be dealt with. After all, maybe Lala is right, and maybe we are capable of laughing with these boys. I'm sure with them being new to the school, they aren't aware of our... what should we call it? Prank culture?" Tomoe, Akako and Erin simultaneously giggled. "Yeah, our Namimori-styled jokes. We'll be sure to have all kinds of fun with these boys, and no doubt, everybody else will too. No prank is too far if it's all in good fun after all. Soon, we won't even have to be scared of the Sawadas anymore, we'll just laugh."

Step Number Four: Vilification; "Of course, we can't forget about how little we know of the true nature of these boys. That's why it's up to us to find out everything we can about them. We must track their every move and every previous step they've ever taken. If they have any dark hidden secrets, we must bring them to the light of day so that they may become common knowledge. In order to keep our shining crystal diamond clear, even the most disgusting of imperfections must be found."...in order to be cut out.

Rosa's multi-part method worked without failure. It was adaptable and worked on forces much more powerful than one person could muster alone, the power of socialogy. Sow the seeds of hate and beautiful flowers of perfection will bloom, like the one which lay on the desks of Ieyoshi and Ieharu. Rosa could see it now; Ieharu's desk covered in prayers, "Loser," "Delinquent," "Pervert," "Disgusting," "Go away, underwear pervert," "Go home," "Don't even come to school," "Nobody likes you," "Die," Die. That image hung in Rosa's head. She knew exactly how it looked on a desk with black marker. Rosa had seen it many times before. The image of being absolutely abhorred, Rosa loved and hated seeing it.

When it came to what must be done, Lala knew that Rosa had everything planned to her desires. Lala hadn't actually seen any decisions that Rosa had made turn into folly since they became friends. That was why Lala had no doubt when it cane to what Rosa wanted. Yet, there was this gnawing alarm inside of her that told her to warn Rosa or at the most just prevent this all from happening. There was something about this situation that was different from the previous ones. As if, something more than the everyday normal life can handle, like this reality of theirs would shatter and they won't be pleased about it. At the moment, Lala didn't want that. She was happy with everyone around her. It was true that their was some negativity coming from the other students when it came to Rosa's way of doing things. But, she knew there were far more positive outcomes for it. Still, she couldn't shake this feeling.

"In any case," Rosa continued, noticing she was being stared at during her pause, "Our current business in this here is finished. Come girls, let us depart from this..." Rosa looked toward the desk, where the flower lay, "...depressing environment. We have other important things after all, like our little plan for today's lunch." Instantly, all the other girls' expressions lit up in excitement. Rosa looked around at each of them, spread around the room, including the unfamiliar pink-haired one. She was quietly sitting at a desk, like she had been when she entered the room, with red earbuds on while she was dazing off, only now she was staring directly at Rosa. Was she listening the entire time? It was hard to tell seeing as she had earbuds on, but nonetheless, her eyes were trained on Rosa with an expression that seemed otherwise disinterested. Could she possibly have been a friend of the twins? "You," Rosa commanded, directed at the spectator who may or may not have been listening to her, "You better not repeat anything you may have heard here, got it?" If the girl was stupid and didn't know the consequences of disobeying her, well, Rosa wouldn't have to worry anyway. The pink-hair girl simply made a curt nod, before going back to her own devices.

"Rosa-chan, let's just be careful, okay?" Lala noted with a kind and gentle smile toward Rosa, before she looked toward the pink-haired girl and waved at her. "Thank you!" She then followed the rest while taking one final look at the flower on the desk then took a deep breath as she hoped everything would be fine... Yes, hopefully.

Upon the exit of the junior girls, the pink-haired girl stood up and began to search for paper towels.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Izaya Ryujin Character Portrait: Roni Hideaki Character Portrait: Chester Sterling Character Portrait: Lilith Dusk Character Portrait: Ryuu Morimoto Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Crostoph L. Stings Character Portrait: Akira Shinsato Character Portrait: Jett Hideaki Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Lala Wakahisa Character Portrait: Akamatsu Hiroshi Character Portrait: Aobane Kuroiobashi Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Luka Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera Character Portrait: Asa Solomon Character Portrait: Lyndis Kyori Character Portrait: Mikhail Sergeyevich Character Portrait: Mamoru Hibari Character Portrait: Yume Hibari Character Portrait: Shou Arasaka Character Portrait: Florence Sterling
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The loud chatter of the cafeteria filled the room. The cafe was spacious and contained more than enough space for every student in the school as if they planned for another incoming class. Although it seemed like a normal day, there was a bit of 'tension' floating around in the air. It was Thursday, but not your average one. More specifically it was Godbread Thursday, the day where boys become men.

"Only a few more minutes to go," Lilith said watching the oven. She was still waiting to produce the gift from heaven and bring it to life on earth. The Godbread. Perfectly seasoned, buttered, and prepared with love. The ultimate bread that for today, was only one eighth of the regular price. Typically, only fully grown adults with a well-paying job could afford such a delicacy or a few students that came from rich families, but this special was made with the students in mind; however, there was a large catch with this. Only five were being made. In the spirit of competition, each Godbread will be placed separated and equal distance from the opposite side of the coffee shop. Whoever brings it to Lilith's cashier stand in the small coffee shop section located in the cafe, gets the sale. Once the Godbread container was handed to Lilith, then it is considered safe and no longer eligible for anyone to take. This was the honor rule in placed for all those who battle for it. This was a monthly affair and allows students to release any stress they have built up through school along with the chance to be blessed by the Godbread.

Today marked the second Godbread Thursday of the school year which tends to be the more popular one. By now, the nicknames of those who have participated have been given and more people would have garnered strategies in preparation for war. The first war was interesting to say the least. There five winners were the Hokage, the angry Mad Hatter, the Ghost, the Doll Queen, and the Still Reaper. This time, the fight will be more rigorous since more students have prepared their own strategies in preparation. You could see among the students that some have matching shirts to represent their factions, others have sat in certain positions closer to the Godbread locations where they would be placed. "This'll be a good show," Lilith said to herself. This was one of the few things that gave Lilith a slight rush other than stealing valuables. "I guess I'll check what's on TV then," she said as she motioned towards the remote. There was a slightly large television used to create ambiance with background music while the store ran. *Click* She flipped to the first channel, hah the news.

"This is AMAZING," the reporter obnoxiously yelled. "Tempest! From Blast of Tempest is rumored to be coming to Namimori to perform, SOON!" Her excitement was very apparent accompanied by the fans standing behind her trying to get their five seconds of fame. "I love you Tempest!" one of the teenagers shouted from behind the reporter. "Oh yeah! We love you Tempest," another fan shouted. "But that's not all folks!" the reporter could barely contain her excitement, "But Kunyo! Kunyo the model! He'll be accompanying her! Both of these idols together!"

"Her music is alright, but Kunyo is pretty attractive. Not my type though," Lilith muttered while changing to the next channel. Another news jingle came on again, "Oh great, more news."

A male reporter with a larger build stood there with a serious demeanor. "This is scary news folks. Last week, we went from covering the mysterious gamer N1E5—pronounced Nies— and his many achievements, but this week we have a notorious hacker attack...in NAMIMORI." "This man sounds like the conspiracy theorist that are on television....oh wait," she stopped midway realizing this in fact is the news. "But alas, we have hope! We have another hacker on our side!”

"Conspiracy, conspiracy, next," she clicked the remote again.

"Here we are live with the famous Wushu Master, Alois!" The reporter shifted the mic while the camera focused on Alois. "Hello Alois, I've heard you're coming to Namimori soon, why is that?" She continued to ask him probing questions on and on.

"Eh, that's cool I guess." *DING DING DING* The oven continuously beeped. It's time. Lilith pressed the power button on the remote to shut off the annoying news reporters. As she walked towards the oven, she could notice the shift in atmosphere in the cafeteria. The voices slowly began to fade as she went to open the oven. She grabbed her Namimori cafe specialized mittens with Bertha's image holding a coffee mug, then opened the oven. The irresistible aroma overwhelmed the cafe and overtook Lilith for a moment. The smell started to spread even further into the cafeteria causing an eerie silence to fill the area. "The God bread," one student muttered quietly, "Praise the gods. "The Pastry Goddess has finished the ritual," another student said while beginning to kneeling down in respect. Lilith somehow earned the title of Pastry Goddess as the legends of God Bread Thursdays began. The nicknames and different factions of students were always interesting to say the least.

Lilith pulled out the long strip of Godbread out of the oven and already prepped five durable sturdy containers out on a table. She carefully divided them up, spread butter, a bit more seasons, and finally completed the legendary God Bread by placing them in the containers. "It's time," she said while holding each container stacked on top of each other like a professional waitress. She walked slowly towards the first pedestal on the opposite side of the cafeteria. The pedestal was white and in the form of ancient Greek god. The five gods that had a pedestal design were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Ares, and Apollo and it is said that whichever bread you receive will cause you to earn a different blessing from the respective god. Each pedestal god held their hand out as if they were holding something up which conveniently could be filled with a God Bread. All five god pedestals that lie equal distance from each other while they all stand on the opposite side of the cafe. As Lilith placed the final God Bread, she began walking back like a model in all her beauty. She lived up to her title as the Pastry Goddess because as she slowly walked, her hair flew which helped show her natural allure. By this point, the entire cafeteria population was silent and watching Lilith head back to the cafe. The war doesn't start until she says those magic words. Students sat there with their fist clenched and ready.

The sound of running footsteps began near the Zeus Godbread statue. Someone tried to get a false start ahead of everything. "Sorry love," Lilith said as she quickly turned around. She reached for a small yen coin from her pocket, held it with two fingers with her left hand, and prepared her right hand to flick it. She closed one eye, then released the flick. The yen flew at a terrifying speed directly toward the student. BAM! It hit the child bulls eye on the back of the head. He fell down temporarily knocked out from the impact. Some students shook their heads, knowing that you should never try to get an early start. The Pastry Goddess is beautiful but merciless. Without saying any further words, Lilith turned around and continued walking towards the cafe. She finally reached the cashier with her back facing the wall opposite of the students and the Godbread. The tension in the air was more evident since it was about to be that time. She quickly turned around with the 'coffee lady girl' persona and smile and said, "Welcome to Namimori Cafe! We are Now Open!"

"To the Godbread!" "Ahhhh!" I'll get it!" A multitude of students had begun yelling while chasing their respective god pedestal. This was the beginning of the second bread wars.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Lyndis Kyori
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Imagetachythetabbycat: Hey, is any1 online yet?

Imagedaft_E: ya im here
daft_E: but y do we have to use this when we r barley meters a way?

ImageMrsMachiavelli: Is everyone in their positions?

Imagedaft_E: barely*
daft_E: stupid auto correct
daft_E: yea im ready

ImageLyndis_theThird: I'm already, ready!

Imagetachythetabbycat: cant wait for the bread!
tachythetabbycat: lol, Akako's not answering us

ImageLADYROSE: I'm here!
LADYROSE: just telling this loser to gtfo, because he's compromising Rosa's plan

ImageMrsMachiavelli: Alright, everybody is accounted for.
MrsMachiavelli: Just to make sure you all remember the plan, please repeat it to me.

Imagetachythetabbycat: again?!

ImageLADYROSE: I'm with the MAA club at the very front, but it's sort of annoying how they're all surrounding me
LADYROSE: apparently they're doing whatever I say for the sake of consoling me over my loss of Ishiki
LADYROSE: but I know they all know I dumped his ass, lol

Imagetachythetabbycat: lol

ImageLADYROSE: so there going to get the Ares bread for me.

ImageMrsMachiavelli: They're*
MrsMachiavelli: Erin, I assume you are confident in your plan to obtain the Hera bread.

Imagedaft_E: yea im good
daft_E: trust me that nobody is going 2 dare 2 touch that bread but me

ImageLADYROSE: We can barley even read your texts

Imagedaft_E: barely*
daft_E: Rosa thx for getting me cream soda

ImageMrsMachiavelli: Indeed.
MrsMachiavelli: I made sure that Lyndis would be secured a seat near the Apollo bread.

ImageLyndis_theThird: Easy peasy to get. Last time was so simple!
Lyndis_theThird: Knock out everyone! Take the br3Ad!

ImageMrsMachiavelli: Naturally, her victory was solely thanks to her luck, and her looks.
MrsMachiavelli: Not even a savage would dare lay a finger on her after all.

ImageLADYROSE: What about them?
LADYROSE: those terrible twins
LADYROSE: what if they turn all crazy again?

Imagetachythetabbycat: lol
tachythetabbycat: and strip to their underwear and catch their hair on fire wwwww

ImageMrsMachiavelli: I know how to deal with them, but I doubt they'll matter in this conflict.
MrsMachiavelli: Tomoe, I hope you haven't forgotten your job.
MrsMachiavelli: Tomoe?

Imagetachythetabbycat: I know! helping u setting up tripwires between the tables
tachythetabbycat: also u told me 2 show off my new pickpocketing skills on every1s wallets
tachythetabbycat: they cant buy bread w/o money lol

Imagedaft_E: hey rosa
daft_E: u ok?
daft_E: u look stiff

ImageMrsMachiavelli: I'm perfectly fine.
MrsMachiavelli: Remember to look out for the Hokage, the Mad Hatter and the Ghost.

Imagetachythetabbycat: hey look, its almost time!

ImageLADYROSE: LMAO did you see that dumbass?

Imagedaft_E: he stole my idea
daft_E: but got rekt

ImageMrsMachiavelli: Prepare yourselves, girls.
MrsMachiavelli: Let us enter this Battle Royale with the mandate of heaven on our side.
MrsMachiavelli: For the bread of the gods belongs to us alone, and we shall claim it all!

With that final proclamation fresh in the mind of the girls, they all pocketed their BluScreens and went straight to their intended destinations. They firmly believed that nothing would stop them. After all, Rosa had told them what to do, and as long as they followed Rosa's command, they would never fail as it almost never failed them before. Besides, Rosa wasn't so foolish as to not leave room for error. No, the girls were well aware of what their Plan B was, but whether they had to resort to it would depend on how well they did individually. Here was where Rosa's social network would shine.

As long as Rosa still held the mandate of heaven.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mamoru Hibari Character Portrait: Yume Hibari
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"Nii-chan! Nii-chan! Nii-chan! I---"

How irritating. Those silver eyes opened in sheer annoyance. His dreams were haunted by an afterimage of something that Mamoru could not understand due to it being shattered into confusing small portions, though he knew well enough the voice that was calling out to him. Hence, his level of irritation raising to a tipping level as several factors that he dislikes are being mixed in. "That Witch invaded my dreams." There was clear contempt behind those words as the looping melody of the Namimori Anthem played through the current area, it was probably the only reason he was staying still in his position, currently lounged underneath a certain tree far from the populace of the school. If not, he would have smashed something or someone already to alleviate the edge on his temper and that was not really a pleasant sight to see.

Instead, he covered his eyes from the world with his forearm over it as he allowed the cool autumn breeze passed through and the falling leaves which served as a makeshift curtain and even cushion underneath him. The aesthetic of the place was perfect for him to be at ease and judging by the isolation, he has from the others, it was good. It also provided him to ponder on some things that would not be visible or rather known by other people, believing he does not think of anything else, but he does when it comes to himself. He removed his arm over his face and was welcomed by birds perched on the branches above him where only few leaves remained as it undergoes a change for the season, but other than that, his eyes looked passed that and saw the sun hovering at its top point. That indicated it was lunch.

Apparently, Mamoru had slept through the morning period and that was not something new really. He took up a sitting position as he leaned on the trunk behind him and noticed that he was not alone as he had assumed. Stray cats, squirrels and even dogs were around him in a quiet circle. This as well was not something new to him as ever since his childhood days, animals gather around him as if he was a magnetic pole for them to attach to. It was a good thing that they do not do anything annoying and so he tolerates them as long as his personal space is kept intact. Just like so, he gazed at a far off distance and heard distant voices of something relevant to bread and wars. That has nothing to do with him, so he didn't bother thinking about it as well, though he's aware of the idiotic affair that happens at the cafeteria.

The thought of a fight was entertaining to him, however the whole affair making it about bread was not enthralling to him or the fact, there would be a lot of people present which he does not like. Crowding of herbivores is distasteful for him. That's why overall, he does not participate. In any case, it is time for him to leave as there are people even if they are at a great distance, he does not like the idea of his presence overlapping with anyone. He then felt a weight that landed on his shoulder which made his contemplation halt for a moment. "Mamoru! Mamoru! Mamoru!" It was the only voice that he does not find irritating as it came from the notable yellow canary that had been dubbed, Hibird. In actuality, this canary had become a symbol among the Hibari Family, as it is a constant companion of the Father and even the Son.

He looked at Hibird who instantly sang the tune of Namimori in tandem with the playing from his phone. That was enough for him to relax even further as he finally stood from his position. The animals that were there raised their heads to look at him in curiosity as to what he was about to do. Well basically, he was simply going to look for another location where he would be away from everyone and sleep once more. Like so, he began to walk away as he turned off the music from his phone, Hibird continued singing for him, while the animals present also calmly dispersed themselves. That is how his daily routine work really. There were at times some idiots who would challenge him outright, believing that numbers can beat him, and he proved to them that weaklings will always be weaklings. As of now, he had never been beaten and had become a prominent icon among Namimori as someone with absolute strength and someone not to be messed with at all or even be bothered with the social hierarchy present within the school. As long as, no one does get in his way or heaven forbid crossover his personal territory, everything is rather peaceful with him.

Though, there would still be some students who are ignorant and would unfortunately suffer under his annoyance, because of it. They do provide good examples not to cross paths with Mamoru and stay far away from him, though there are those limited few that managed to go unscathed, such as the one who had been tasked in giving him the schoolwork, that certain presence allowed to linger at a distance with him or the occasional interactions with his known twin. Speaking of which, there was one earlier with his twin and now, apparently another at this moment. He had caught within his peripheral vision of that Witch through the hallway window as he walked by. She seemed to be entranced by something and that was the only observation he allowed himself to have, before a voice filtered through his inner consciousness.

"Please forgive me, Nii-chan! If I was--- This is--- Sorry, Nii-chan, fault is mi---"

The words were all mumbled in his head and it annoyed him as the meaning of it was lost on him. "Mamoru! Mamoru! Mamoru! Wake up!" He looked back at Hibird who was flapping its wings as if aware of what's happening to him. That gave Mamoru a sense of bearing again. What was the purpose of those voices, he could well live without. He took a moment to look back where he saw the Witch only to find she was gone. "Tch." That was all he could comment about that. He did not want to ponder on anything that could irritate him. For now, he went on his way to find a place where he could sleep in peace while Hibird departed from his shoulder and followed him while flying above him, resuming its singing, causing the Hibari scion to fall at ease again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chester Sterling Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Neri Mantovani Character Portrait: Ieharu Sawada Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera Character Portrait: Yume Hibari Character Portrait: Shou Arasaka
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Things exploded into action immediately, with everyone jumping recklessly into a fray centered over the little boxes at the back of the room. Even Damien raced off, carving a path through some poor students and disappearing into the commotion. Ieyoshi simply stared, bewildered by his own past actions.

Why had he changed his mind so suddenly? He still didn't feel like being here, but...

Ieyoshi brought his thumb to his lips, kneading them as he engaged in a deeper level of introspection. What he'd just agreed to wasn't really logical. It didn't line up with his current goal of going back home. So why had he agreed to participate? What had derailed his train of thought? Was it Damien's prodding? Nah. He was fairly confident he wasn't susceptible to peer pressure, and he made sure to keep an eye out for that. Was it his brother?

Ieyoshi glanced sideways at Ieharu, whom simultaneously glanced at him. They met eyes for a moment, but Ieyoshi looked away before anything meaningful could be exchanged. Ieharu had a way of seeing through his twin brother like no one else, and that's not the type of exposure he desired right now.

Or maybe... hmm... maybe it was Yume?

Thinking of Yume-senpai always made Ieyoshi feel strange. She brought back into the forefront of his consciousness the precarious position is was in, the constant balancing act he was forced to play, and the delicate mask he was required to maintain. Not that he particularly minded, it was just—

A firm grip on his forearm pulled Ieyoshi back to reality. Snapping his head to the right, he noticed that Ieharu had snatched his forearm out of the air and was gripping it rather ferociously.

Ieyoshi raised an eyebrow, genuinely confused. "What?" He almost hissed, his tone indicating slight annoyance.

"Get out of your head, Yoh," Ieharu chided, looking his brother in the eye. "I know I f-ed up yesterday," he began, slowly casting his eyes downward as he did, "and I know you're mad at me for yesterday and I'm sorry, but don't just stand there." Ieharu flashed his brother one of his toothy grins. "Didn't you say you were gonna go get one? You're missing the fun!"

Ieyoshi twisted his way out of his brother's grip. Something seemed to shift in his demeanor, his aura, after coming into physical contact with Ieharu. His shoulders slumped slightly, his stance becoming less tense. With a sigh, Ieyoshi closed his eyes briefly. Yeah, his brother could see right through him sometimes. Kept him grounded. "I'm not mad, dummy." That was the truth. He wasn't mad at Ieharu. How could he be? None of it was his fault. "Anyone that messes with us gets their ass kicked. Period. Even upperclassmen. Even Godot." They hadn't seen much of Godot since yesterday's events. Ieyoshi still wanted to have some, er, words with that gun-slinging douche bag.

Ieyoshi swept his eyes over the scene before him a second time. The twins must've been standing there for a while, because the scene was already different. One or more of the so-called Godbreads had already been taken.

Interesting.

Ieyoshi wasn't particularly tall, so he couldn't see to the core of what amounted to the giant mosh pit, but relying on his intuition (and pointers from the familiar voices shouting out announcements), he was able to pinpoint several different people of interest.

The first thing he noticed was Erin. Initially, he'd mistaken her for an older male classmate, with the way she was throwing people around and—was she spitting at people?

"Eeww," Ieyoshi muttered under his breath.

Rosa's goons were to be avoided. He'd already had his fill of them yesterday.

Next he noticed Shou, leaning against the wall off to the side. Ieyoshi half-way wanted to join him, but... if Shou was here, that meant his brother was too. Enn. The bounce-off-the-walls one that would talk your ear off. Ieyoshi sighed again. Great.

Suddenly, Ieyoshi activated, moving forward at an expedient yet measured pace. Ieharu lagged behind for but a second before catching up to walk beside his twin.

"So you're gonna do it? You're fight for the bread?" Ieharu asked, voice filled to the brim with an otherworldly exuberance. His brother was excited for reasons Ieyoshi could only imagine.

Ieyoshi shrugged. "I guess."

As they walked forward, the crowd parted before them like the red sea. Those that were fighting in the immediate vicinity paused to gawk as they passed.

"Mad Hatter, however, is putting up a fight just as good," Came a familiar voice. It seemed to be projected over a loud speaker system of some kind. "As seen by the impossibly fast roundhouse kick to the face with his other leg, using her iron grip on his leg as an anchor to carry out the blow. But oh - The Spitter let go of him and he fell to the ground!"

"What is a 'Mad Hatter'?" Ieyoshi asked, curious.

"Damien tells me that's Ryuu!" Ieharu responded, grinning. "And Damien's the Hokage!"

Ieyoshi grunted in response, which amounted to an effective eye roll. "And if I get this bread, do you have the money to pay for it?"

Ieharu halted immediately, as if his feet had turned to stone. "What? Yoh! No! That's not fair!"

Ieyoshi turned to face his brother. Those that had paused their own battle to eye the twins tensed. Were they about to fight one-another?! "If I do the work, you pay for it." Ieyoshi pointed at his brother as he spoke.

Ieharu pointed a thumb at his chest. "I'll pay half."

"You pay all of it," Ieyoshi corrected, "and you can get..." He chewed a number over in his mouth for a moment. "20% of the bread."

"50. Half!"

"25. 40% of it goes to Yume."

"Then 30! Don't be unfair!"

Ieyoshi eyed his brother for a moment before cracking a short-lived smile. "Fine. We'll split it. But you're paying for it." Ieyoshi looked up towards the ceiling, scratching the side of his head. "I, uh, actually didn't bring my wallet anyway."

Ieharu shook his head, feigning a hurt expression. "So this was your plan all along?!"

"No," Ieyoshi responded, stepping closer to his brother and grabbing the boy's arm. "This was." Like a ringside announcer at a boxing match, Ieyoshi raised his brother's arm into the air and proudly declared in an eerily calm voice to all those watching: "This is my brother, Ieharu Sawada. He's the guy you saw kicking ass yesterday morning before school. You losers better not mess with him or he'll take all the Godbread, so watch out."

Mortified is not a strong enough word to describe the look on Ieharu's face. His eyes grew wide as he noticed everyone hone in on him like hungry wolves. "Wait, what?"

"You're gonna be the bait," Ieyoshi muttered offhandedly, as if his intentions were as clear as day.

"B-b-but—!"

Ieyoshi dropped his brother's hand and began walking away. "I'll catch you later."

"Wait!"

But it was too late. Ieyoshi had already melted away into the crowd, and though Ieharu tried to follow, his path was cut off by those around him. One tall and particularly portly fellow stepped out from the crowd to confront the younger twin.

"They call me B.O." The guy declared both to Ieharu and to all those around him.

"Yeah, cause you smell like shit!" Someone in the crowd laughed. Another student, a lanky blond girl, took that as an opportunity to attack, and lunged at another nearby student. Suddenly, the all-out brawl resumed in earnest, with Ieharu in the middle of it. He immediately raised his hands as if surrounded by police, the universal sign of surrender.

That's when B.O. stepped forward, literally bowling over several fighters like a bowling ball would a set of pins. Most of them slid across the floor to collide with others. Many held their noses, eyes scrunched. It seemed that there was something more terrible than his size: his odor!

B.O. turned his attention towards Ieharu, leveling him with an icy stare.

Ieharu scrunched his nose a bit, taking an unsteady step backwards, his hands still up. "Uh... um... I'm not, uh, playing this game. You see, I'm just a, er, well, I don't want any bread or anything so—"

As Ieharu stumbled backwards, B.O. pressed forward, matching the Sawada twin step for step. "You're that kid from yesterday, right? The one queen Rosa marked for death."

"Marked for what?!" Ieharu squeezed between two brawling first-years, hoping to escape his pursuer, but B.O. plowed through them, too. Was this guy unstoppable? And what was he even talking about? "I told you I'm not playing!"

"Then fight me, ya lil' bitch!"

Okay, this guy wasn't getting it. With a panicked squeal, Ieharu turned on his heels and began running through the crowd, though in which direction he wasn't quite sure. He just wanted to find the cashiers, the exit, and the relative safety they would give him. Several others noticed him and assumed he was making a play for one of the Godbreads. Though he was surprisingly agile and quick on his feet, it didn't take long for him to collect a gaggle of pursuers, and they were closing in fast. He knew B.O. was among them, thanks to the burning sensation that attacked his nose and eyes.

Dammit, Ieyoshi! Dammit dammit dammit!

Elsewhere, Ieyoshi walked with purpose, dodging and weaving through what amounted to different battlefields. Some people were slapping each other. Others were rolling around, laughing. Others still were in "serious-business" mode, engaging in epic combat with one another.

This whole thing seemed so chaotic and unorganized. It was surprising that a school would even allow something like this to occur... but then, this was Namimori High. Not only had crazier things happened, but they'd already happened within the last 24 hours.

Following his intuition alone, Ieyoshi slithered his way through the vortex of fists and kicks and shouts until his target came within view: one of the Godbread statues. It was the Hera statue, which held the "Herabread," or, rather, it used to. Someone had already nabbed that Godbread. Oh well.

Maybe it'd be fun to chase after the person who had the Herabread? For a moment, he seriously considered it, but then Ieyoshi slumped his shoulders, losing interest. Again, he wasn't quite sure why he was even participating in this thing. Plus, he wasn't really in the mood to work for his food. He'd already brought a lunch from home, after all. Ieyoshi sighed. "Whatever," he muttered, turning away from the Hera statue and resolving himself to leave the area. He'd fulfilled his piece of the social contract, right? This was enough interaction for today. Maybe he'd just ditch and go home early.

As he began walking away, Ieyoshi felt something—someone—lay their hand on his head. For a moment, just a split second, it felt like... well, like his father. Like Tsunayoshi.

Ieyoshi whipped his head to the side, eyes wide, his expression unusually animate, but when he swiveled on his heel in search of the source, there was no one there. No one was close enough to have done that.

Did he just imagine it? Blehk. Physical contact itself was already annoying enough, but he absolutely hated when people touched his hair!

Though the person that had laid their palm on his head was nowhere to be found, Ieyoshi noticed a familiar face in the distance over by one of the other Godbread statues. Without turning as he did, he would have missed it. Missed him.

It was Damien. He was single-handedly holding off what looked to be an entire army of zombie-like bodies reaching for the Godbread he protected.

Ieyoshi smirked, clenching and unclenching his fists a few times, as if testing them. That's right, Damien was in this game too. And when was the last time they'd gotten to spar one another? Ieyoshi couldn't stop his smirk from growing wider and wider until it overtook the entire bottom portion of his face. Those within the elder Sawada twin's vicinity noted the shift in atmosphere instantaneously and began putting distance between themselves and the enigmatic first-year.

News of what Ieyoshi had done to that one kid yesterday morning had spread like wildfire, and few in the vicinity wanted a piece of that action. This was supposed to be a game, after all, not a serious fight...

With re-purposed resolve, Ieyoshi stuffed his hands into his pockets and began walking towards Damien. Maybe this thing would turn out to be fun. But if anyone touched his head again, he'd kill them.

He wasn't sure if he was being serious or not.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Chester Sterling Character Portrait: Rosa Kuromaku Character Portrait: Enn Arasaka Character Portrait: Lyndis Kyori
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In this school, the Bread Wars had very little to do with bread. It was about dominance. Much like a sport, this 'war' was a show of one's greatness over their peers, regardless of standing. Kings and idiots fought on equal terms. Indeed, although the pristine Godbread was a prize to behold, there was much disgusting chaos that needed to be wreaked in order to get it. Rosa hated it, but in this case, she wasn't afraid to get her hands even a little dirty if it meant exacting dominance wherever it hadn't already been exacted.

Rosa glanced at her BluScreen Lite—that had been bought the evening before—which gave her a whole overview of the battlefield before her, including the locations of all her allies. She didn't stare at it too long, however. It was just a little guide to give her an overhead view, but Rosa trusted her own eyes the most. Standing close to the register, like a bird of prey on the watch, Rosa kept close tabs on everything in front of her and kept track of not only her allies locations and the locations of the bread, but precisely what every single student was doing at once, keeping close attention on them all. This wasn't a skill Rosa was born with, but it was what truly marked Rosa as a rightful ruler, for like the almost legendary Prince Shoutoku, Rosa had the ability to listen to over ten people at a time and deal with them all accordingly.

Among her immediate allies, it appeared many of them were highly occupied. Erin looked as if she had completely forgotten about her mission to get the bread, but Rosa was not offended in the least. She appeared to be making an effort to be especially showy, so she must have remembered Plan B. Besides, she had pretty much defeated a former winner's chances of winning again. Rosa had to make sure they weren't any more remarkable than herself and maintain the highest win rate. She would not be bested here.

Akako seemed nearly uncontested, albeit she wasn't doing much beyond cheering on the boys around her. It was almost scary how convincing her shallow guise could be. The guys of the MAA seemed to be tearing up anybody who contested them and almost nobody dared approach what appeared to be the strongest group in the room. Although they moved slowly as a group, it seemed they had nearly no issue in securing the Apollobread, likely by picking it off one of the other kids. Akako seemed almost disgustingly contented with the bread in her arms, which the boys fell for completely, and she appeared to be inspiring some sort of competition between the boys as she stuck closely to the shortest among them. They were eager to prove themselves by retrieving another bread, but something seemed to get between them.

Specifically, a white-haired first year student. Apparently caught up in her own character, Akako made a girly yelp in surprise. This had an almost immediate effect on the boys around her, as they were quick to push him away. However, the boy avoided them effortlessly with a large grin on his face. He seemed a little too happy to be fighting the large group of MMA members, weaving in and out with a bright gleam in his eyes as he took them on with ease that implied experience which belied his age, clearly heading towards Akako. Rosa gritted her teeth. A problem child, she thought. Rosa was definitely paying attention to his display of combat prowess, although bread didn't seem to be his immediate goal. Nonetheless, he went from being a neutral party to an obstacle. Perhaps she would need an intervention.

Meanwhile, Tomoe and Lala were both doing as instructed. Tomoe was everywhere, going this place and that, whereas Lala was making a valiant effort to get the bread. Rosa was debating whether or not those two should have changed tactics yet or not, but with a new obstacle appearing, Rosa knew exactly how to deal with it. Rosa whistled and immediately, a pig-tailed head popped out from between the desks, not unlike an excited puppy, and she awaited her order. Rosa gave out a very simple command: "Clean Akako's fingers!" With a nod, Tomoe sunk back under the desks and into the unknown.

Rosa also was paying close attention attention to the locations of the breads. The Herabread, which Erin was tasked to receive, seemingly disappeared. Nobody knew who had it. Okay, more like everybody knew who had it. The shouts about the Ghost from the amateur announcing corner still rung in Rosa's ears. Of course, nobody knew where the Ghost was. Like a ghost, he had disappeared from the public eye. Yet, Rosa was not to be played for the fool. She saw the blue-haired kid sneaking around, and knew fully-well what he was capable of. How he managed to sneak one of the breads in the last conflict was almost impressive to Rosa, but Rosa could easily observe what techniques he was using this time, looping this way and that much like a fox that was avoiding the hounds. This hawk's eyes were not to be deceived however. Rosa made sure she would be in the perfect position to intercept the boy.

Chester was heading toward the counter after circling in the crowd several times to make sure that he left all those that might be tailing him behind. It was always better to cover one's tracks first before directly going to the place where they might be waiting, the counter. He completely gave up reading the crowd then, the many 'wave lengths' of the people were distracting at best. As such, he noticed Rosa's attack far too late.

"Ah!" Much like a bird of prey, Rosa appeared to swoop toward Chester in an instant, her hand reaching out in an attempt to grab at his shirt. Chester took a step back and to the side, just enough for her to miss as he turned around, trying his best to look for a path back into the milling crowd of students. However, he was caught by surprise when he felt something sharp, like a few fishing lines, stopping him in his tracks and focusing his attention on Rosa again. It was the queen of the school, everyone knew and respected her. Well, the ones who actually have a social circle do. He had always watched with a kind of horrified fascination as she weeded out those who didn't agree with her, but he was certain that he had hidden himself well enough to be considered normal, if not weak. "Mine," was all Rosa bothered to say before closing in the distance between herself and the boy, her fingers splayed.

Trying to back away once again, Chester winced when he felt the sharp strings digging into his flesh. His eyes darted over the crowd toward Ryuu, for any help that he can get. However, Ryuu was still locked in battle. He needed to buy some time, at least enough to distract her. "What's yours?" He asked, feigning innocence. Rosa reached out to place her hand on Chester's chest, causing his eyes to widen as he crossed his arms defensively over the bread under his jacket. "You want my body?" Rosa didn't respond and forcibly reached toward the area Chester was protecting. As he resisted, Rosa closed her other hand into a fist and moved to backwards, causing him to feel that sharp feeling again on the back of his neck, causing him to weaken for a short second.

Forcibly, Rosa pushed Chester onto a table, bringing her clenched hand over Chester's neck to hold him as she struggled with Chester's arms. Biting his lip, Chester locked his arms in place, resistant to Rosa's pulling. He wasn't going to give up the bread that easily, not after Ryuu's efforts. Rosa frowned at Chester's resistance and with a stoic expression on her face, she brought both her hands around Chester's neck and began to apply force. Chester let out a short gasp, feeling his air supply cut short. "What are you... Doing?" He choked out, though his arms didn't move an inch. Rosa didn't respond, at least not verbally. What she did, however, was press further on Chester's wind pipe, gritting her teeth with effort as she did so, and even unconsciously smirking.

All Rosa had to do was weaken the boy and his ability to grip onto the bread and very soon, it would end up in the correct hands. Of course, she would have no interruptions. This kid did very well to completely lose everybody else who was trying to track him, so nobody would be paying anymore special attention to the two. All this chaos that Rosa disliked so much worked to her benefit, as everybody was either dead set on their goals or they were paying attention to where the real action was occuring. Erin was definitely contributing to that. After all, nobody would truly care for the well-being of a nobody. That was just the natural order of things, the order that Rosa had adapted to and learned to manipulate in her own favor, as if it were palpable.

Just as Rosa had intended, Chester's efforts at resisting her were becoming weaker. A sort of mania was in the back of her mind, a drive for the bread. Very soon, it would be hers, but truthfully, it had been fated to be hers from the beginning, and she was just going through the motions. Afterall, the mandate of Heaven was still on her side, correct?

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Character Portrait: Ieyoshi Sawada Character Portrait: Damien Gokudera
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"This is child's play!" Damien blurted out to the onslaught of students charging towards the Zeus Godbread. Damien stood between the mass of students with his back facing the Godbread. The students were sent flying back as if they were in a line to get punched. Damien swung his fists like a boxer and took out each approaching competitor. He could easily snatch the Godbread, then make a mad dash to the cafe, but practicing these 'legal' acts of violence against his peers was pretty appealing. The most entertainment he's had at this school thus far. His mind was made up that this time, he'd go for a slow and gradual win instead of merely securing the godbread in the optimal time.

"You're going down Hokage!" the student called Spartacus yelled. His cosplay of a spartan was fairly accurate although his armor plates were merely towels stuffed inside his t-shirt. He wore knee pads that were spray painted brown, held an empty lunch tray in his right hand with a bawled left fist. No weapons were allowed so of course he couldn't have a spear. "CHARGE!" he yelled running towards Damien.

BAM!

Spartacus suddenly tumbled forward, knocked off balance by some unknown force, to land painfully face-first at Damien's feet. Damien looked down at the student, eyeing him curiously for a moment before training his eyes forward. The gaggle of students vying for the Zeusbread paused in their attempts to snatch it, they themselves taking an interest in Spartacus's mysterious tumble. Damien hadn't touched him yet, so...?

"Yo," came a distinct voice from within the crowd. Quickly, the students separated, clearing a small circle around what turned out to be Ieyoshi Sawada, hands in his pockets, leg out. He'd tripped Spartacus, and there was another contender somewhere on the ground behind the elder twin. "Damien." Ieyoshi had a nefarious grin on his face, one so wide that it forced the skin around his eyes to crinkle. "What if I told you," he began, pointing at the Zeusbread, "that I want that bread?" Ieyoshi raised his chin, clearly challenging the other boy. "Wanna fight about it?" While speaking, he'd slowly closed the distance between himself and his friend. They were now standing a few feet apart, separated only by the downed body of Spartacus, whom was struggling to get to his feet.

"Ho ho ho," Damien obnoxiously laughed with an older man's tone. "Dearest Yoh, or shall I say 'Batman'," he walked backwards towards the Zeusbread with his back nearly touching the pedestal with his eyes remained fixed on Yoh. The grin on his face grew more menacing as he dwelled on the idea of fighting Yoh.

"Godbread is mine!" some approaching voice yelled. The kid had his fist raised and race directly towards Damien. Without releasing his gaze on Yoh, he swung his left hand at the kid's face for a clean hit. The momentum the he had was immediately reversed and sent him flying back. He was passed on the on ground while Damien slowly brought his bawled left fist to his chest. Meanwhile, he moved his right hand behind him to secure the Zeusbread. "You're looking death in the eye Batman. You'd best be on your way to secure another Godbread, for this one is mine!" He yelled loudly enough for nearby students to glance and him with the Zeusbread in hand.

Ieyoshi looked to his left, and then to his right, taking in the scene around him with a curious cavalierness. Without a word, he posed the question: can you believe this guy? Then he grinned again, his eyes returning to Damien.

"No."

Before the word had even passed his lips, Ieyoshi was off, surging forward like a hurricane, first with a feint to the left, then a quick switch to the right, followed by a ferocious right hook coming in like a meteor headed straight for Damien's face.

Damien held his position barely reacting towards the approaching Yoh. At the last possible second, he swiftly moved his left hand to grab hook and halt Yoh's momentum. They met each other's eyes but for a moment, but it might as well have lasted an eternity. It was Damien who spoke first. "Nice try, but you'll have to try much harder than that."

"My Godbread!" some random kid yelled approaching the two. Damien sent a quick kick to push Yoh backwards. He immediately shifted his body to face the kid, and threw the Zeusbread at the oncoming child's face. "Ow!" the kid yelled at the Zeusbread bounched off of his face. The child looked up and extended his hands to reach the Zeusbread in the air. "Gotcha!" Damien said as he sucker punched the kid flying back, jumped in the air to catch the Zeusbread and looked back towards Yoh's direction.

Ieyoshi was quick enough to react to the deft kick, throwing his weight backwards, but he was not fast enough to switch up his footing in time and fell towards the ground, somersaulting into a crouch. He took a moment to pound the floor with his fist, the small burst of pain cutting through the dizzying haze of the maneuver and allowing him to reorient himself. In the same instant, he brought his feet under his abdomen and lunged forward, taking a quick measured breath as he went, eyeing the preoccupied Damien, scanning for a weakness—a weak point.

He found nothing of course, and before he could get close Damien had already turned around to face him. The quickness with which he disabled the random kid caught Ieyoshi by surprise, causing his eyes to widen slightly, but he did not stop his advance. He opened up with a roundhouse kick, which was blocked very succinctly. Ieyoshi used the angular momentum from his kick to spin into a naive heel sweep, but Damien avoided that, too. It was like an intricate dance, with Ieyoshi struggling to control the tempo. This time with his left fist, he let loose the most powerful jab he could muster, aimed straight at Damien's face. Ieyoshi was too close for Damien to catch the move, so instead the boy ducked under it. Only then did Ieyoshi realize that his overextended left arm, having completely missed its mark, left the rest of his lower body exposed. Despite his best efforts, despite his hyper intuition, despite his drive, he found himself dancing to his opponent's tune.

Damn.

"Bad move," Damien said while his entire body stood lower than waist height. He stepped closer directly into Yoh's personal space and gave him three swift, but powerful punches in the abdomen area sending Yoh flying back. Damien stood with his fist out as Yoh flew back then began bawling and unbawling his fist to release the tension. Some students stood in awe of his strength while others shifted their target from the Zeusbread to the others. He completely forgot his original goal of securing the Zeusbread and locked in his mind he was in a fight. He gave Yoh a few seconds to react, then sprinted directly towards him.

Ieyoshi reeled from the blows, reflexively gripping his stomach. The pain, which would have been sharp and biting to anyone else, merely came as muted pulsations—dull aches—just like every other emotion or sensation that ever hit him. The attack had a strange effect on the elder twin. In the middle of the fight, time seemed to slow and his mind raced. Again, he couldn't help but drift into introspection. Why was he even doing this again? This godbread thing was stupid, and he didn't really care. Not that he had a problem fighting Damien. That was the only part of this that wasn't confusing. What was going on here? He couldn't help but reach a dead end.

Ieyoshi removed his hands from his chest, eyeing his open fists. He looked up and noticed Damien throwing him an odd look before breaking into a sprint. It wasn't an unfamiliar expression on his friend's face. It just wasn't one that was frequently aimed his way. Ieyoshi returned his eyes to his fists. He had to win the godbread. The question of "why" could come later. For now, he just needed to get it. It's what his gut was telling him. To win. Ieyoshi balled his fists. He'd win even if it meant doing something he promised everyone he wouldn't.

"I won't go down just like that," he muttered to no one, coming to his feet to meet his friend's advance.