Mashiro Yuki

"You know, most people would have given up on me and left by now. So why are you still here? What is it you hope to gain from all this?"

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a character in “On Broken Wings and Wilted Petals”, as played by Tsukiakari


Mashiro Yuki

Standing at a total height of only about five feet, three inches, Yuki is nonetheless a person who carries herself with such an imposing manner and such authority that she manages to be rather intimidating despite her diminutive stature, especially when angry. This seemingly paradoxical air of strength and power from someone who otherwise would seem rather insignificant and small is only one of many highly distinguishing features about her, however, for her rather bizarre appearance is one of the main factors of her commanding presence.

Her eyes - the main feature of her face, as her nose, ears, and chin are rather petite, and her rosy, rounded cheeks and soft pink lips only serve to bring them out all the more keenly - are amber in hue, and seem to always have an inner glint to them. When she is happy, this gleam is like the light of a distant star shining across all of the darkness inside her heart and bursting forth in an uncontainable radiance, joining the light of her slight smile in a beautiful image of joy in comparison to her usual melancholy. When she is sad, this light is more akin to the light of the outside world being turned away as it reflects off of a bottomless and immeasurable sea. Most often, however, the light in her eyes is like the cold glint of a dagger, as though her very gaze is daring the object of her attention to try anything to harm her.

Her long, straight hair, too, is unusual, for it is a silvery white in hue, like the snow for which she is named. It is generally left alone, allowed to grow how it will and merely clipped and combed to keep out of her eyes, although it frames them closely, with a curtain of pure white locks hanging just over her eyes like a halcyon cloud in a peaceful sky and a flowing cascade of tresses joining this on each side as they run down almost to her shoulders. Her usual hairstyle - meant to keep her hair from blowing about overly much and causing her annoyance - is twin ponytails, held in place on either side of her head by black and white ribbons.

Most of her height is made up by her legs - although this isn't saying much. Her limbs are long and lithe, her waist thin, her stomach flat, and her figure ever-so-slightly childish, as she is still in the process of growing up, no matter how mature her circumstances have forced her to become. This clashes somewhat with her serious demeanor, making her seem a bit unnatural to some people.

During the day in the week, she is generally seen wearing her school uniform, a demure but appealing ensemble consisting of a white blouse tied with a yellow ribbon and decorated with dark blue lace and a deep blue and black skirt, trimmed with white lace, along with a pair of knee-high black stockings topped in the same manner as the skirt's ornamentation, and a pair of businesslike black dress shoes. Her outfit varies during her time off from school, but is generally rather fanciful and equally enthralling in appearance.


Yuki is, quite simply, a very hostile, isolated, and depressed person, although only those who try to get to know her realize this. After several crushing turns of events in her past, her faith in other people was slowly but surely annihilated. At this point, she operates under the assumption that all of Humanity works solely to attain profit and prosperity, each person acting only for selfish reasons. Abandoning possibilities such as love, friendship, or loyalty, Yuki disregards all but base greed as naivete, at the same time loathing this standard of working solely for one's own gain as despicable and worthless. In essence, she loathes herself for what she is, but is unwilling to believe in any other possible course of action, leaving her trapped in a cycle of self-hatred and despair.

Because of this mentality, she keeps everyone around her at arm's length, not wanting to grow close to anyone only to risk betrayal, something she is all too familiar with. She remains polite and cordial to those who do not pry into her affairs, but at the same time remains aloof, making plain the fact that she desires solitude. To those who do attempt to force their way closer to her, however, she acts much differently, little by little growing more and more sarcastic, insulting, and cruel until they finally give up and leave her alone. In a way, however, this is just a way of making herself look scary to conceal her true feelings.

The fact of the matter is, she is alone and knows it, desperately longing to find even a single kind and devoted human being to disprove the entire logical trap she has found herself consumed by. Because of this, if someone treats her well, disregarding their own interests in the process, Yuki softens up somewhat, cautiously emerging from the shell she hides within an reforming the ties to other people she severed long ago when she first fell into despair. Although she tries to hide it in such an event, she has a kind heart, and it shows in some of the actions she takes to help those willing to become close to her no matter how harsh she may seem, although she vehemently denies any sort of "dere" side up until the point where she literally no longer can.

On a final, interesting note, she loves animals, especially cats, due to the loyalty they show their masters, and can be seen quite often tending to injured strays in the park surrounding her vast estate.


Born into the rich Mashiro family, whose main house had owned and operated Mashiro Entertainment Enterprises for generations, Yuki watched even from her very cradle as the harsh reality of self-interest and cruelty unfolded about her. Her father, an ambitious, cunning man, married into the family as a means of securing riches, embezzling off of the profits of the company he had weaseled his way into owning. When he was found out, he hid behind his wife, tricking her into claiming responsibility, then disavowing and divorcing her when her usefulness had ended, leaving her to rot in prison for his crime.

Consequently, from her very childhood, the savage desires of Humanity were impressed upon Yuki. Refusal to accept reality as her father viewed it was met with punishment just as disobeying him otherwise was, slowly but surely eroding Yuki's resistance to his personal code of morality - or lack of such. For a while, she held onto hope that there were good people in the world no matter what her father believed, but three major events drove her past the breaking point, forcing her to accept the tragic "ideal" of greed.

The first event occurred in school. She had begun to socialize with her classmates against her father's wishes, growing close to them and oftentimes treating them to various fancy entertainments such as plays, concerts, movies, lavish dinners, and so forth using her own allowance - which was quite considerable. Thus, she was shocked, distressed and grieved when she overheard them talking behind her back about how arrogant and irritating she was, and how all she was good for was free fun. As if this was not enough, the second event followed shortly after, when her mother went mad with rage during a visit to where she was incarcerated and cursed the poor girl, declaring her hatred for her to her face. In her mother's eyes, her daughter had stolen her place, and she despised Yuki for it. After Yuki fled the compound in tears, her mother finally committed suicide, hanging herself with a bedsheet and further crushing Yuki's hopes for a happy world.

But the final event, minor as it might have seemed, was the last straw to her. Desperate to find one good person in the world due to her grief over the betrayals of her friends and mother, Yuki ran away from home on an aimless search for a true friend. It was only after she had rebelliously declared her intentions through a note she left behind, slipped out at midnight and spent a night in the park that she realized the problems inherent in her actions. The night was cold, and by morning, she was chilled to the bone, and starving for a good meal. She had nowhere to go and nothing to eat, and she realized that if this continued, her only option would be to return home and face punishment from her father. It was then, however, that the light of hope flickered in her life for a brief instant.

She met a boy whose name she has long since forgotten. He found her crying over her misfortune in the park, and, desperate to comfort her and help her, invited her to his home once he realized she had nowhere else to stay. For that short day, she was truly happy, welcomed by the boy and his father and treated kindly, something she was relatively unfamiliar with. She felt more at home in that small, happy house than she did in her vast, lonely one. Within an hour, she was alive with joy and cheer, like some fairy princess who paid for her lodgings with happiness and innocent laughter. Why would she not be happy? After all, she had seemingly succeeded in her goal, and had found the good people she had been searching for.

Overjoyed at the acquisition of her first real friend, her confidence was bolstered enough to return home, taking with her a kitten - now a full grown cat, and pictured in the background of the above picture - given her by the family due to her love of the tiny creature and as a means of cheering her up. Although she promised to return, however, she found doing so to be impossible, for her father was righteously enraged, and kept her locked up in her room for a month, allowing her leave to go outside only for school studies, and only when accompanied by a squadron of overseers and attendants. Kept shut up like this, she was unable to so much as contact her new friend, let alone visit him. But, finally, the time had elapsed, and she was once more allowed to go out. Her very first destination was the home of her friend, the address of which she had burned into her memory in preparation for this joyous day.

And yet, her hopes were once again crushed, for she was met not by the welcoming faces of her friends, but by unfamiliar and hostile ones. To her horror, she realized that the people she had so eagerly longed to see had not waited for her, and had moved away. This final betrayal crushed her spirit, for, she realized, it meant that even the kindnesses she had been so convinced were real and earnest were simply fakes. If she could not believe in such happiness, what was there left to believe in?

The answer? The cruel, harsh reality her father would have her face. So face it she did, embracing his ideals and devoting herself entirely to study, abandoning her old games to entirely concentrate on becoming the best possible successor to her father's business she could be. These skills were very useful indeed, for shortly after her 15th birthday, her father died of a terminal illness, and control over the family's assets was transferred indirectly to her care, being operated by a warden who reported directly to her. And so she plunged headlong into the world of business, managing her new company as best she could, and withdrawing further from social circles to concentrate entirely on the world of loss and gain she viewed as the entirety of existence. But, she realized, she could not go on in her reclusive life, for she would need charisma as well as knowledge to control her corporation.

Her solution was a suitably unusual one for such an unusual person. She abandoned her studies with personal tutors and prestigious university programs, and instead decided to spend her high school years at a thoroughly ordinary establishment, selected at random due to its proximity to her own manor. Transferring in at the very start of the year, she quickly became idolized by the student population due to her exotic appearance, intelligence, and overwhelming skill set - just as she planned. Being the star of the school meant she would be able to interact on a social level without growing close to anyone, and no one would find that strange. Arrogant, perhaps, but not strange, and she could deal with that.

But there was one thing she hadn't planned for, and that was a single, ordinary student who sat at the desk next to her, a single person who she could not remember, but who remembered her, and was determined to find what had made her so cold, and to bring the old light of joy back to her deadened amber eyes...

So begins...

Mashiro Yuki's Story


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Character Portrait: Mashiro Yuki

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"Are you sure about this, mistress?"

That bothersome question. She had heard it over a thousand times, it seemed, over the past few days. As she swept her silvery hair out of her eyes, she turned her amber gaze about on the one who had insisted on asking that same thing yet again.

"I've told you already, Akio," Yuki said rather irritably as she spun about. "My mind is made up. Even if I attended the academy, as father originally planned, I would learn nothing new. The only purpose of schooling at such a place is to give me bragging rights to impress people who might want to hire me, and I'm not going to need those in the least as CEO of our company. On the other hand, I feel it would be profitable, and a good learning experience, to interact with 'normal' individuals of my own age, so as to get a feel for how exactly I am supposed to perform in a social situation. Hence, my choice. Besides, I can keep a closer eye on business while residing here at the Mashiro House than if I went to some overseas institution for a prestigious schooling."

"I understand that, miss. But your father-" The old butler - her warden and temporary CEO of Mashiro Entertainment Enterprises - began, raising a gloved hand placatingly. She could see the sweat forming on his brow just beneath his graying hair, however, which meant even he didn't really care about what he was saying.

"My father left you with orders to ensure that I abide by his wishes. I understand that," Yuki interrupted, giving a sigh of annoyance as she spoke. "However, I have determined that this course of action will be far more useful to both myself and to the business in the long run. This fulfills father's greater wish, even if it might go against ancillary plans he may have laid." Oh, how badly she wanted to simply say "Damn the old bastard! I don't care what he wanted!" But she restrained herself. Growing angry over a man who was already dead and gone was pointless, and would only serve to anger one of the family's longest-standing servants. While Akio held no particular loyalty to the old man, he took pride in following his instructions, which meant that even if he didn't agree with her father's wishes, he would abide by them nonetheless.

"I see. Very well, then, mistress. If you insist."

"I do. Have you gathered my things?" Yuki replied calmly. He nodded, and held out to her a small black school bag. This contained all of the books and supplies she would need for her classes, so even if she probably already knew everything in them, it was important to have them with her regardless.

"Good. I want you to get a car ready to meet me in the front drive in five minutes. After that, I leave you to do as you see fit in matters of business in my absence, but I expect you to report fully to me all of your actions once I return this evening. That is all."

"Very well, mistress," He responded, bowing respectfully. As he turned and left the room, Yuki sighed. Everything was in order. She had eaten breakfast, thoroughly cleaned herself from head to toe, and her new school uniform was in perfect order. Despite that, however, she couldn't help but feel a bit uneasy. Transferring into a new school was doubtless going to be troublesome at first. She'd probably be accosted by a herd of would-be "friends" who wanted access to her resources, asked a few thousand awkward questions, and worst of all, she'd be forced to treat all of these offending advances with courtesy and respect in order to accomplish her original goal.

Oh, how she was going to hate this. She just hoped the awkward phase of immersion in the school's student body would pass quickly. But, it couldn't pass at all unless she began it, and it was time to leave. Sighing yet again, she gathered her things and made her way down to the courtyard, the hallways empty and silent aside from the occasional member of the cleaning staff and their respectful greetings as she passed by. She responded with a curt nod to each and moved on. By the time she reached the courtyard, the familiar hum of the exotic black car's engine was already audible as it emerged from the garage. As a man stepped out, opening the door to allow her in, she steeled herself.

It was time to go.


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As the black cab pulled up in front of the school, the driver swiftly parked it and moved to open the door - an understandable action, considering that it was only basic courtesy to clear the way for his passenger - but Yuki gave a wry smile and opened it herself, stepping out into the fresh morning air.

"That won't be necessary," the young heiress said, brushing back her flowing white hair as she took in her surroundings, her acute amber gaze sizing up the facility before her. It was, in all regards, thoroughly ordinary. It was not overly fancy, with very compact grounds that nonetheless served their purpose, and several buildings designed clearly with an eye toward utility rather than aesthetics. The people who bustled about, preparing for the first classes of the day, were similarly ordinary. There were no school staff assigned to serve them, or anything similarly pompous and preposterous. And, while this sort of normality was something entirely foreign to the young prodigy of the Mashiro family line... Yuki had to say, it was exactly what she had expected, and it would serve her purposes perfectly.

"I don't want to make my first impression one of a spoiled, lazy brat, so there's no need to act with VIP protocol in mind. What you have already done is perfectly satisfactory. Return to the manor and your ordinary duties. I'll take the train home," she directed, taking some slight amusement at the man's surprise at receiving such unorthodox directions.

"Y-yes miss," he said quickly, nodding and closing the door once again. "I'll have the staff notified, then."

"Good. Now go." Turning away as she spoke, Yuki didn't bother to watch the car turning back into the road and speeding away. She had much more important matters to deal with.


Entering the school calmly after depositing her shoes at the front entrance, changing them out for the standard pair of snug black slippers, she glanced about. Most students had already gone to their classes, which meant she would be at ease to get her directions to the class. If she recalled correctly, she was supposed to meet her new teacher in the lobby, to be taken and introduced to the class. Well, that probably meant the man in the suit waving at her was her contact, now didn't it?

"Good morning!" He hailed as she strode briskly up to him, her face a calm, composed mask. "You must be Miss Mashiro." Yuki noted with some slight amusement tempered by irritation that he was addressing her in an awfully respectful manner for someone who was supposed to be under his care and guidance.

"I am indeed. Please, if it would suit you, dispense with the formalities and refer to me in whatever manner you are accustomed. I came here to be educated, not to be pampered, although I'm pleased to see that paid employees aren't the only ones in the practice of employing good manners. Thank you for that." She, too, did her best to utilize formal speech with only a touch of her usual wit and sarcasm - something that came rather naturally (Minus the no sarcasm part) to her, considering that it was the style in which she addressed other people almost constantly.

The man laughed, and extended his hand as a more cordial means of greeting, giving a slight, customary bow. "Very well then, Mashiro-san. I'm Takahashi Masao. I'll be your homeroom and mathematics teacher this year. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance."

"Yours as well, Takahashi-sensei," Yuki said with a slight smile, shaking his outstretched hand and returning the gesture with a similar, ever-so-slight bow of her own.

"So, shall we go? Most of the class has already arrived, and homeroom begins in five minutes. I'll lead the way," the teacher offered, and giving a nod, Yuki accepted, following his lead as he began taking her up a flight of stairs. Most of the classrooms seemed to be on the second floor, from what she could tell, so this was no surprise.

Still, Yuki mused, it was going to get awkward if everyone tried to address her in such an unnecessarily respectful manner. It was obvious that they were simply putting on airs to impress her, and she didn't need an ego-stroking, nor did she even really care all that much. Already, she was finding it hard to maintain this composed, mild-mannered and polite persona, having to resist the urge to make a sarcastic remark almost every time she opened her mouth. This bad after five minutes? Yeah... she could tell that this probably wasn't going to end very well.

"Here we are," Masao said, stopping at one of the many classroom doors lining the halls and shattering her reverie like glass. The room in question had windows pointed out into the hallway made of somewhat distorted - especially on the inside - blocky glass, meaning she got a fairly good view of the classroom, although they probably could only see her in silhouette. She glanced over its occupants, as though expecting to recognize some of them, but really she was simply trying to size up their behavior as a possible omen of how she might be treated.

Many of them wore their uniforms very casually, seating themselves on top of their desks and chattering away amicably. Well, judging by the very casual atmosphere, perhaps things might not be so bad as she had initially feared? This gave her a little more faith in her ability to withstand the storm of inquiries that would doubtless assail her the moment she finished introducing herself, and so she smiled calmly, composing herself as the teacher opened the door and stepped in.

"Good morning, everyone," He greeted cheerily, in the same manner as he had hailed her in the lobby - that chipper attitude and upbeat greeting seemed to be his trademark, from what she could tell. He leisurely strolled into the room, but did not sit down at his desk, instead remaining standing by the blackboard, a signal that he had an important announcement.

"Good morning, sensei!" His greeting was returned in kind, and he smiled, waiting for things to die down as students quickly returned to their seats, their attitude shifting from carefree ease to one of discipline and attention fast enough to cause Yuki to second guess herself, although she did not let this break her confidence, even if it did unsettle it a great deal.

"I'm pleased to announce that today our class will be receiving a new transfer student. Please come in, Mashiro-san." With that, he gestured toward the door, giving a beckoning nod to her. Well, that was evidently her cue, so she walked briskly in, her face a calm mask bearing a slight smile, her bearing elegant, and her composure unperturbed. As she stopped, brushing several strands of silvery hair from her eyes, she turned, folding her hands and gazing kindly upon the class - an expression that, although she did not let it show, was rather foreign to her.

"...that white hair..."

"...did he say 'Mashiro?'"

"...could only be..."

"...no way! Quit joking around!"

In an instant, a storm of murmuring filled the classroom, enough to have drowned out the teacher had he not expected this reaction and ceased to speak. Giving a slight smile, he raised his hand, a motion for the class to remain silent for just a bit longer.

"Mashiro-san is transferring to our school from the Kita Advanced Academic Institute, starting today. Mashiro-san, would you like to introduce yourself, or shall I?"

"Thank you for your offer. Please allow me," She responded coolly. Masao nodded, stepping aside to give her center stage, so to speak. Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself against the dozens of curious eyes that gazed solely on her, and began.

"My name is Mashiro Yuki, Ma spelled with the kanji for pure - not as in 'broad-minded' - Shiro as in white, and Yuki using the kanji for snow." She picked up a piece of chalk and wrote out the characters for her name on the blackboard as she spoke, before turning and continuing. "My direct family consists of myself and my grandparents, although I live alone, aside from my house staff." She had made a slight slip-up here, mentioning her rather wealthy situation - and her rather prominent lack of parents - so abruptly, but she did not let this error deter her, even though the whispering voices had started up again, inspired by these strange revelations. "I am 17 years old, my hobbies include reading, studying, and sports, and my chief goal is to become a successful business executive of my father's corporation. It is a pleasure to meet you." She gave a respectful bow, and then turned back to the teacher to await further directions.

In this momentary pause, the voices roared up again, countless gossiping murmurs struggling to be heard over their own mutual cacaphony. Once again, Masao raised his hand, and the class grew silent.

"Very good. Does anyone have any questions they would like to ask?" While this was slightly nonstandard, it was much easier than waiting for her to get to her desk, only to be accosted by everyone all at once. Yuki appreciated this fact, and so kept cool rather than being irritated at not being asked if she was actually willing to answer questions first. Cutting off the urge to give a sarcastic sigh as she was ought, she instead turned back to face her eager fellows.

Might as well brace myself now, she thought. Things were about to get very bothersome.


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Character Portrait: Mashiro Yuki Character Portrait: Melanthios Floros

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I was awe struck. Not because the girl was breathtakingly beautiful. No, she had an aura that I had only seen once but never forgot. It couldn't be. Right..? Of course not... But he had to know.

"Hey, Mel, you alright?" Akito asked, looking at me. He sat diagonal from me so it was kinda hard for him. I only nodded and listened as a guy asked a question. Sensei looked almost proud that everyone was well behaved. If only it would last... I thought, shaking my head.

"I got one! Are you single?" the class nodded, seeming to want to know the same thing. For some reason, even if that wasn't my little snowflake, it still pissed me off. Badly. I took a little marble from his pocket and flicked it at the back of the guy's head, making it slam into the desk in front of him. He was out cold.

"Yuu-tan! Are you alright?" one of the girls near him asked, making Remus snort from his seat in front of me and lean back to talk to me. Akito had leaned closer

"Oh no! Yuu-tan's poor poor singular brain cell!" he whispered in a very high falsetto, making us laugh quietly. Sensei raised his hand again. Everyone, us included shut up again.

"Yuu, that question was inappropriate." he turned to Yuki, who looked nervous, if you asked me. "I'm so sorry, Mashiro-san. Anyone else have a question?"

Everyone looked around, somewhat nervously. They knew asking something bad would mean slamming their faces into the desk like Yuu did. As a class, everyone shook their heads, allowing me to put the marble I had ready away, back into my pants pockets and I turned back to the window.

"If that's all, Mashiro-san can sit by Floros-san." I was smiling on the outside, looking blissfully unaware but inwardly I was panicking. "Floros-san, pay attention." I turned to Sensei and raised my hand.

"Sorry, DΓ‘skalos." I muttered, rubbing the back of my head sheepishly. Remus was murmuring about a lovesick dog and Akito looked slightly worried.


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Character Portrait: Mashiro Yuki Character Portrait: Melanthios Floros

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"Are you that Mashiro Yuki?"

That had been the first, and expected question. She had asked for some clarification, and, when asked more specifically if she was heiress to the famed family in charge of MEE, she had demurely confirmed this, leading to an awed outburst from the classroom as a whole. Well, this was excusable, she supposed. It wasn't every day you met someone widely regarded as famous, although it was somewhat irritating regardless.

"Sensei said you transferred from the Kita AAI. That must mean you're a genius!"

"Not exactly a question, but yes, I did transfer here from there. I don't consider myself a genius, but thank you for the compliment," She said, a twinkle of sarcastic amusement flashing for a moment in her amber eyes, a slight smile playing upon her lips.

"Why transfer here? The AAI is a fast-track to an overseas scholarship at big-name colleges. Did you get expelled or something?"

"I have my reasons. Long story short, I got tired of it," She answered simply, leading to some confused murmurings amongst the class. There were quickly disrupted, however, by a loud exclamation, and before the boy had even finished talking, Yuki already knew what he was going to say. It was the question she had worried most about, and was most annoyed to see that her fears had not been baseless.

"Are you single?" The boy asked. Yuki sighed somewhat irritably, gritted her teeth, and tried to bite back the tirade of sarcastic jabs that sprang to her tongue. Fortunately for her, someone else dealt with the nuisance before she had to, and the boy fell flat on his face, much to the laughter and amusement of his classmates.

Fortunately, there were no more questions, which meant she could get to her desk in peace. Introductions were always the main nuisance about a transfer, and now that they were out of the way, she would at least get a brief respite before the interrogation started again.

"Thank you, Takahashi-sensei," Yuki said with a kindness that she couldn't help but feel didn't suit her, giving a bow and quickly striding across the room to her desk. Placing her book bag on the desk, she dusted off the seat and sat gently down, brushing her hair back out of her eyes.

"Alright. Now that that's through, there are a few other minor announcements. Firstly, since the year is now underway, the school would like to remind everyone that clubs are now open and accepting applications, and that they are holding an open house event after school on Friday. If you're interested, classes will be ending early that day, so you'll have plenty of time to investigate and hopefully find a club activity that suits you. Secondly..." Yuki lost her will to concentrate at this point, and lapsed briefly into her own thoughts, trying her best to ignore the furtive glances being shot at her from all around the room, and the quiet whispers that still continued unnoticed.

"...for cleaning duty, I'd like someone to walk Mashiro-san through the basics. Show her where everything is and help her get used to her after-school duties. Floros-san, it's your turn in the rotation, so please take care of this." Masao wrote up two names on the board as he spoke under a small section labeled "Cleaning Crew." Once "Mashiro Yuki" had been lined up alongside some unintelligible foreign name which, if she recalled correctly, meant "Black Flower," although she'd long since forgotten her Greek (if that was actually what it was) - probably that of the person sitting next to her, who she greatly pitied for his obvious lack of parental affection, made evident by his quite frankly absurd name - Masao concluded the announcements.

"That should be everything. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves now, but don't disrupt those who want to use this time to study. If you'll excuse me, I need a coffee." With that candid statement, Masao turned and bowed out of the room, heading off - probably toward the break room down the hall.

And, it seemed her period of respite had just about ended, since students were already getting up and heading toward her. Oh dear.

"Hey, hey, Yuki-san!" One of them exclaimed. She toned out the longwinded introduction that followed, but managed to pay enough attention - which wasn't hard, considering she knew they had come to bother her with more questions anyway - to realize they wanted to ask about various trivial facts.

"What sorts of things do you like?" One of them asked.

"Mystery novels, classical music, and cats," she answered curtly, although her concise method of speaking would probably be attributed to a desire to answer things quickly for the sake of time rather than annoyance.

"Do you have any pets?"

"One cat, as well as a few others who live on the grounds of my house."

"What's your favorite saying?"

"Too many of us aren't living our dreams because we're busy living our nightmares." Yuki couldn't help but feel a sense of hilarious irony in that statement. Its original meaning was something cliche about perseverance and fearlessly hoping for the future, but little did the people around her know that when she said it, she meant just the opposite. She had no dreams that weren't veritable terrors, and in a world where she could not trust anyone or anything, one long nightmare was all life ever could be. She knew that to be true, and had willingly chosen not to pursue dreams. And yet, who, having seen the things she had seen, could interpret that saying the way it was originally meant to be understood? Give up your fears and follow your dreams? What sort of happy-go-lucky lie was that? Dreams were just that: unattainable fancies that could always be looked at, but never reached. To assume that you could "live your dreams" was nothing but self-delusion. Several loud exclamations of approval for her optimistic outlook were heard, but she didn't pay any attention to them. As the storm of questions continued, she answered as best she could, always remaining polite and cordial, but never once stepping out of her comfort zone. Let them bother her, she thought. It would end soon enough, and they would go away. They always did, once they realized that even amongst a crowd such as themselves, she was still distant and alone.


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Character Portrait: Mashiro Yuki Character Portrait: Melanthios Floros

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I had tuned Sensei out after this. I didn't want to entertain the idea that the cold hearted girl sitting beside me could have been the calm, sweet girl I fell in love with. I continued to look out the window and barely caught the last bit of Sensei's speech.

"...for cleaning duty, I'd like someone to walk Mashiro-san through the basics. Show her where everything is and help her get used to her after-school duties. Floros-san, it's your turn in the rotation, so please take care of this."

I gave him a thumbs up without looking. As Sensei left, Akito and Remus moved closer to me, allowing the rest of the class to swarm the girl. I felt sorry for her. I hated most of the morons in our class.

"You think she'll snap and tell them to fuck off?" Remus asked, sneering at a girl that wandered to close to them. I snorted and laid my head on the desk, looking out my window.

"I'd laugh if she did, but her background won't let her." I watched as Kosetsu ran across the schoolyard, herding the last of the students into the school. The huge American Alsatian looked like a large wolf but she was harmless. I turned back to see Remus snarling at some guy, who touched him. This worked to my advantage.

"Get the hell away from here! All of you! I can't stand you people!" he bit out, making everyone clear out and run back to their seats. I nudged Remus with my foot, making him turn to me.

"Good dog..." I muttered, he snorted.

"Your compliments do you no good." He said before snuggling up against Akito, who was actually studying. I saluted the girl with two fingers in a greeting.

"Sorry about your little posse but we hate crowds of morons." I told her before I propped my feet up on the desk and turned back to my lovebird friends, eager to ignore everyone else, who seemed to be glaring at me for the moron comment. I just stuck my tongue out at them and rolled my eyes.

"So mature." Akito muttered, no even looking up from his book. I laughed and closed my eyes. This would be a nice time to sleep.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mashiro Yuki Character Portrait: Melanthios Floros

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As it turned out, I had fallen asleep before class. It was a bad habit I picked up from when I was younger, falling asleep in strange positions that is. I had to be woken up by Remus, who had moved back to his seat and knocking my feet off the desk in the process. I sat up quickly and turned to the door to see it open. I sighed and nodded at Remus, who gave a thumbs up back. Akito had closed his book, which was about some war and turned to Sensei, who was talking and writing things on the board. Most of it was about senseless things that I could research on my own time, which I normally did. Remus was already had his head on his desk, a gaming console in his lap. I rolled my eyes and shook my head. I stretched and tried to listen to what he was saying but the clouds were begging to be watched.

My thoughts kept going back to the day I met my snowflake. I could feel my mouth moving from the indifferent line to a smile. Yeah, I remember that day well. She was sitting at the playground across from my old house, on a swing. I merely walked over the street and stood in front of her. I asked her where her house was, the normal questions one lonely child asks another. She didn't answer. So I grabbed her hand, drug her back across that empty street and into my house. My father was making spanakopita tart with bacon and mushrooms, one of my favorites. I told my father that she was all alone and then she spoke. I can still remember her words. "I'm not alone. I've run away." It still made me laugh. My father ruffled her hair and we all ate together. After that, we went to the back, where we were keeping a cat and her kittens. Only two survived a attack from a dog. We gave her one, who we named Byakuya and I kept the other, Byakko. Then she had to go home. She promised to return the next day. Almost a month later and no return. We moved and I haven't seen her since. I shook my head to clear my thoughts.

Remus turned Yuki and gave her a devilish grin. "I heard you keep cats. Wanna tell me their breeds? My friend over there, the one daydreaming, has a pretty big pet shop, ya know. He even has a cat." I turned to him and my smile dropped. "Whoa, sorry bro... Just trying to help you out." He held his hands up, in a 'I-didn't-mean-any-harm' style. I only shook my head.

"I doubt she wants to hear about my exploits as a pet shop manager." I halfheartedly sneered. "Sorry about the dog. He can't keep his mouth shut somedays..." I tipped my head in apology at Yuki before turning back to the window.