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A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:31 pm

"Wait! Where do you think you're going?" Mikoto called to him. She hurried after the boy in an angry march. His flippant behaviour was already getting to her and they'd barely been in each others' company for five minutes. She could feel the first spark sizzle across her bangs. "I haven't even shown you around yet!" She had to restrain herself to keep from yelling.

***

Touko sighed.

"Such misfortune..." She let her head sink into her hand as Tsukuyomi entered the room.

"Good morning everyone!" The child like teacher began.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:31 pm

"Wait! Where do you think you're going?"

He glanced back over his shoulder without breaking his stride.

"I'm going to enjoy my day off." He said simply. His stomach growled. Come to think of it he hadn't eaten in days. "I'm starving. I think I'll go get something to eat." He said simply.

"I haven't even shown you around yet!"

"Well, there's the principal's office." He pointed to the door. "And those are classrooms..." He gestured around them to the other rooms. "I think we're done here." He shrugged, walking off again. "You should take some time off too. You don't have to be back until after lunch, right?"

***

The class was uneventful. Relaxing even. Tsukuyomi was lecturing them on the importance of their studies. As usual it seemed the class was lagging behind their peers. Not surprising really. This was the school where Academy City sent their 'hopeless cases'. The students who couldn't or wouldn't develop their abilities beyond level 0 in particular.

As the students filtered out Tsukuyomi would be found standing at her desk, tending to paperwork as ever. Today, though there was something different about her.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:32 pm

She buried her head in her hand again.

"How can someone like you be a teacher?" She wondered aloud. After a moment she looked up only to find that the boy had vanished. Mikoto tore at her hair, stifling a scream of frustration and she ran after him.

***

Touko couldn't help but notice her teacher's odd behaviour and as the others moved on she waited behind.

"Is everything OK, Sensei?" She asked, concerned.

***

The air was thick and stifling.

The smell of cut grass and her own sweat was suffocating.

The sun on her head was unbearable.

Uiharu Kazari had been running for what felt like hours. Of course the reality of the matter was that she had only been running for twenty minutes. Still a colossal feat for a girl who spent most of her day sitting behind a computer screen. Finally she collapsed, her energy spent and she pitched forward onto her knees.

Kazari panted for air. Her lungs were burning.

For months she'd been training to pass the entrance exam into Judgement. But she was no closer than when she'd started. Her body steadfastly refused to follow her instructions. The exam was known to be tough, requiring a high level of ability, both mental and physical. And it was the physical she was having problems with. Among one of the tests was a timed circuit lap. Kazari had never been the most athletic girl and even after all her training she had a long way to go if she wanted to qualify.

"Why?" She sobbed, raking her fingers through the ground and clawing up handfuls of grass. Why couldn't she do it? She felt the hot sting of tears in her eyes and choked back another sob.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:32 pm

Guy stretched his arms wide, basking in his newly found freedom. He whistled to himself, enjoying the scent of freshly mown grass. The sound of sobbing caught his ear and he followed it into the park where a young girl knelt in the grass, visibly distraught.

Something fluttered beside her, just outside the corner of her vision. Guy dangled the white handkerchief next to the girl, gesturing for her to take it.

"You look like you could use someone to talk to."

***

"Yes!" Tsukuyomi jumped, startled by the girl's voice. "Everything's fine." She smiled stiffly. It didn't take long for the girl's questioning gaze to break her resolve. "It's just..." She looked down again, fiddling with the papers on her desk. "I just ran into an old student yesterday. That's all." It was clear that the 'run in' had shaken her a little.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:33 pm

Kazari shook her head, but accepted the handkerchief reluctantly. Her shoulders hitched with another dry sob like a hiccup and she dabbed her teary eyes. She avoided his gaze. She didn't want anyone to see her like this, even if he was just a stranger.

"It won't help." She whispered. "There's no way I can do it, even if I trained for three months, let alone three days!" She hiccupped with another sob. "I'm useless."

***

"An old student?" Touko asked, suspicious. "Anyone I know?" She cast her mind back over the many former classmates she'd had over the years.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:33 pm

Guy frowned.

"That's not true." He said, crouching next to Kazari as she struggled to suppress her weeping. "So tell me what the problem is." He shot her a disarming smile and offered her his hand.

***

"Kenji." Tsukuyomi uttered the name like it was a curse. As though she feared summoning the boy by mere mention. "He was one of my students. A sweet, good boy." She smiled softly, remembering those simpler times. "But these days..." Her voice tightened with emotion. "He's lost his way." She fell silent. "I just wish there was something I could do to help him."

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:34 pm

She raised her head, meeting his gaze for the first time. It took her a couple of moments to register the hand that was offered to her and she felt her heart flutter. His midnight blue eyes were kind and gentle and Kazari felt herself relax.

She followed him to a nearby bench, sitting down as she recounted her tale.

"I just wanted to be a part of Judgement so badly..." She admitted with an embarassed smile. "I know it must sound silly, but I really thought I could help people." Her shoulders dropped in a sigh. "But I guess I'm just no good."

***

"Don't worry, Sensei." Touko placed a hand on Tsukuyomi's shoulder. "I'm sure he just needs someone to show him the way." The girl smiled down at her teacher cheerfully. "You'll get through to him. After all, you straightened me out, didn't you?"

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:34 pm

Guy had listened silently as Kazari had poured her heart out. But he couldn't keep his silence any longer.

"Someone once told me Life confronts us with hardship so that we may learn to overcome it." He smiled at her. "It means that you haven't lost until you stop trying." He paused, letting his words sink in. "You're a smart kid, and the fact that you haven't given up means that you've got what it takes to succeed." He stood up. "I know it doesn't counts for much, but I have faith in you." He waved, making his way back to the path.

***

Tsukuyomi nodded, her heart lifted by Touko's words.

"Now you need to get to class, before I get in trouble for making you late." She said, ushering Touko from the room.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:35 pm

Kazari's expression brightened at those words.

"Thanks." She said with a firm nod. "I'll do my best." She watched him walk away, her spirits raised by the stranger's kind words. She called out suddenly to him.

"Um. My name's Uiharu Kazari."

***

Touko was daydreaming. Daydreaming of a filling meal at her favourite restaurant in particular. She had managed to evade Motoharu and the others along with whatever plan they had in store for her. It was a moment of rare peace. One she intended to enjoy.

The daydream was shattered when she spotted a familiar face.

Mikoto looked stern, her face set in a serious frown as she paced towards District 15.

"That idiot." She muttered to herself. She looked at her phone. She only had an hour to find him. She had considered forgetting the wild goose chase and leaving the irresponsible teacher to his own devices. But who knew what kind of trouble that moron would get into. And until lunch at least she was responsible for him.

She didn't even notice she was sparking.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:35 pm

"Guy Ashton." He called back to her over his shoulder.

A short way into District 15 and one important question still lingered in his mind. He looked uncharacteristically dour as he considered his decision.

"On the one hand Chinese food is cheaper. But Italian food is more filling. If I can find a good pizza place then I can probably go without eating for another two days..." The thought didn't thrill him, but as he had until the end of the week before his first pay cheque came through it was a pressing concern. He opened his wallet, leafing through the pockets. His face dropped, the colour draining from his skin.

1000 Yen.

A mere 1000 Yen to feed himself for the next week. He'd be lucky to get a singe meal. Guy felt his life flash before his eyes.

"I'm gonna die." He groaned. His stomach growled noisily. "Oh well." He quickly recovered his spirits. "Chinese it is." He nodded with a smile. His decision had been made for him.

***

Downtown was thriving as he expected. He reached into his pocket and lifted out a small packet of cigarettes with a shake. Inside he knew that he was down to his last two. A thought that filled him with more dread than his lack of food. He slipped one between his lips and flipped open his lighter. The gentle, pleasing sensation of smoke filled his lungs.

"What did you think would happen if you show up empty handed?" He heard a voice from behind him, followed by a muffled thud and a weak whimper. Guy frowned, raising an eyebrow as he followed the sounds to their source.

It was not an altogether unfamiliar scene. A gang of rough looking youths had another boy pinned against the wall of the alleyway and were beating him with an indifference that suggested boredom. They probably spent most of their days administering casual violence like this. Their victim for the most part seemed to have abandoned any thoughts of resisting, hanging limp in the arms of his tormentors as they pummelled him. There was a familiar face in the crowd.

Kenji Kurama.

The boy's savage grin was unlike the others. He still revelled in the violence. That much was apparent. His wild eyes like pin pricks as his fist slammed again and again into the helpless boy's face. A mortified squeal alerted Guy to another presence. A small girl, no more than 10 was being held back by one of the thugs as she wailed uncontrollably.

Guy acted quickly, seizing the boy by the shoulder and throwing him off his helpless victim. She scurried into a corner, curling up into a ball and trembling.

"What the hell?" The gang turned to face the interloper, hands reaching into their pockets in unison. All save for Kenji. The shaven headed delinquent turned slowly, casting a curious glance over the teacher.

"You wanna die, old man?" Kenji's lips contorted in a lop sided sneer. With one hand planted against the wall he reached down to his belt and lifted his shirt, letting his fingers run across the grey metal of the pistol's grip.

Guy was silent.

"Yeah. I didn't think so." The boy cackled, sloping away from his victim, who slumped to the ground unconscious. They rounded the corner, vanishing into the back alleys and Guy barely had time to breathe a sigh of relief before another voice announced itself.

"Stay right where you are!" A girl. Not one he knew. "I'm from Judgement! You're under arrest for assault, battery and smoking in public." She said.

Guy sighed again in despair.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:36 pm

Mikoto looked up, her eyes falling on Touko. Her frown deepened.

"You." She uttered darkly before tutting with frustration. "I don't have time to deal with you right now." She glanced around for any glimpse of the wayward teacher.

"Oh?" Touko stopped, casting a wry glance at the girl. "My misfortune must be taking a day off." She smirked.

"Whatever. Like I care about you." Mikoto pouted slightly. "Either help me or get out of my way." She walked past the spiky haired girl.

"Is this your way of asking for my help?" Touko asked, her smirk broadening. Mikoto didn't answer. Touko merely shook her head and followed close on the Tokiwadai girl's heels. "So what are you looking for?"

"He's about 6 foot, foreign looking. He was wearing a suit with a red shirt. Scruffy hair and stubble." Mikoto described her quarry.

"A boy?" Touko raised an eyebrow.

"It's not like that." Mikoto's eyes narrowed.

It didn't take them long to see the crowd that had gathered. Mikoto charged ahead, trying to get through the crowds.

"What happened?" She asked one of the bystanders.

"There was a fight or something. Judgement hauled away some tall guy."

Mikoto felt her stomach tighten with dread.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:37 pm

"He claims to not be involved." Kuroko said, her back pressed against the water cooler. It had been a long and troublesome day and it was barely past noon. Her Senpai, Konori Mii took a long sip of the chilled water as she listened. "But we caught him red handed. No one else was nearby when the incident occurred. No matter how you cut it he looks suspicious." She cast a sideways glance over to the young man in the corner. He looked content, if a little bored, sweeping the room with a curious gaze.

"Were there any witnesses?" Mii asked, her attitude as professional as ever. She adjusted the thin framed glasses on her nose as she joined her comrade in her appraising glance. He did look shady, she caught herself thinking. And his manner... he seemed to find the whole thing rather amusing, if his expression was to be believed.

"Only the sister of the victim. The boy himself is still recovering from a concussion. He says he can't remember anything." Kuroko replied.

"And what does she say?" Mii asked stoically.

"She refuses to speak until she can see her brother." Kuroko shook her head. Not that she could blame the child. She must be terrified.

"Any evidence?"

"The security cameras in the area had all been tampered with. Someone wanted this meeting to remain private. Someone who knew the area well..." Kuroko bit her thumb nervously. Something about this case bothered her.

"Then we have to let him go." Mii shrugged. "His file says he's only been here a day." She waved a manilla folder in her hand. "He can't be our culprit." Kuroko opened her mouth to argue, there were plenty of ways they could hold him for questioning until Anti-Skill arrived.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:37 pm

A knock at the door announced Mikoto's presence and she swung the door open with a crash.

"Kuroko, I-" She was about to ask her friend about the situation when her eyes fell on the boy. "Nevermind." She marched towards him, fixing Guy with a fierce look.

"You've got a lot of explaining to do." She frowned. "I had to walk half way across the city looking for you. If the principal finds out you got arrested while I was showing you around..." She sputtered, growing increasingly angry.

Touko stood back, trying to keep a low profile as the argument raged. Something caught her eye though. In the waiting room a small girl sat, nervously clutching her hands. She glanced up at Touko briefly before averting her gaze.

"Uhh. Hi." The spiky haired girl waved, not sure what to say. The child shrunk back into her seat, bringing her knees to her chest. A pang of sympathy shot through Touko's heart. "It must have been scary. Right?" She asked the girl with a gentle smile. There was a nod in response.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:39 pm


He looked up when Mikoto burst into the room.

"Ah, hey Tokiwadai." He addressed her with an unimaginative nickname. He was cut off as the girl stalked towards him. He could see the anger in her eyes burning bright and for a moment he hoped they kept him in custody until her rage blew over. A cursory glance at Kuroko and Mii told him this would not be the case. I see. He thought. They're not letting me go. They're feeding me to the lions. "Don't worry... Mi-nako? Mi-zuki?..." He tried to recall her name before shaking his head dismissively. "I'll take full responsibility." He stood up abruptly, making for the exit.

"Onee-sama! You know this... villain?" Kuroko reeled, her head shooting back and forth from Mikoto to Guy. Her mind raced with all sorts of explanations. Not all of them pleasant. No matter how she looked at the boy he seemed like a troublemaker. Definitely a villain.

"If there's anything else you have my number." Guy shot Mii a playful wink as he passed. "I'll be happy to help you with whatever you need." His voice was dripping with innuendo and Kuroko felt her eyebrow twitch involuntarily at his brazen behaviour.

Outside the office Guy paused. The little girl from earlier sat in the corner, knees tucked up in the fetal position. His cocky smile faded just briefly before he carried on past her.

Mii turned to Kuroko, her brow furrowed with confusion.

"Shirai-san. Why didn't you restrain him before bringing him in?" She asked. It was protocol to restrain suspects with zip ties before taking them into custody.

"Huh?" Kuroko seemed surprised at the question. "I did..." She said, matching her superior's puzzled expression.

"Well he wasn't wearing any when he left." Mii commented, watching the boy leave with curiosity.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:40 pm

"Well it's all over now." Touko crouched down in front of the girl, hoping to meet her eyes. "Lets go see your brother." She said brightly, holding out her hand. The girl nodded, her small fingers wrapping around Touko's hand.

***

"Don't worry... Mi-nako? Mi-zuki?..."

"Misaka Mikoto!" She barked furiously. "My name is Misaka Mikoto!" Her fists balled at her sides, small sparks of electricity arcing between strands of her hair.

"I'll take full responsibility."

She hadn't been expecting that. He hardly seemed the type to own up to his mistakes. In fact, for a moment she was speechless.

"Uh. Well. OK then." She sputtered, lost for words. "But don't think I'll let you off lightly after today!" She fumed. "Honestly. Of all the irresponsible..." She trailed off into quiet muttering as they left.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:40 pm

The hospital smelt, as hospitals tended to, of chemicals and sterile cleanliness. A strange, vaguely unnerving smell that kept one from ever being comfortable. It lingered like a miasma. Its flawless white walls and floors were bright to the point of blinding underneath the cold, harsh striplights.

The small girl clung tightly to Touko's hand and she stuck close to her new guardian. So much so that the older girl would find herself tripping over her newly found shadow. With a few helpful directions from the staff they soon found themselves at the correct room.

Inside was a solitary boy. He sat upright in his bed and though his face was now covered with bandages the small girl by Touko's side had no trouble recognising the boy underneath as her brother and he smiled happily at her.

"Onii-chan!" She cried, leaping into his arms. The boy braced for impact, but still winced as she wrapped her arms around his bruised ribs.

"Ah! Yui, be careful." He half laughed, half panted as he struggled in the steel vice of her grip. His expression softened and he relaxed back into his bed. "I'm glad you're OK." He ruffled her hair, glancing over at Touko.

"Thank you for taking care of her. You must be with Judgement, right?" He asked.

***

"Well, you may as well enjoy the rest of your lunch break. I've got things to do." Guy yawned, rolling his shoulders. "Thanks for showing me around, Michiko." He smirked, leaving.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:41 pm

Touko watched the heartwarming scene in front of her for a few moments before she felt the nagging sensation of intruding on their privacy. She was half way out of the door when the boy called out to her.

"Oh. No." She waved her hands. "I'm just a concerned passer-by." She admitted. "And it's no problem. She's a well behaved kid." She tried to fight the urge to ask but her curiosity got the better of her and without thinking she blurted out. "So what happened to you anyway? It looks pretty serious." She realised her mistake quickly. "I mean, it's none of my business, of course. It's just..." Her eyes drifted to Yui, still clutching her brother tightly.

***

"It's Misaka! Misaka Mikoto!" Her words were strangled by her frustration and she stormed back into the office, leaving a trail of papers in her wake.

"Come on, Kuroko. We're going to lunch." She snatched the twin tailed girl by the collar, dragging her out of the office without further explanation. Mii could only look on with surprise as the teleporter was dragged backwards through the door like a kitten caught by the scruff of its neck.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:41 pm

The boy looked down at his sister and he held her head, gently running his fingers through her hair.

"I made a stupid mistake." He spoke with a voice heavy with regret. His words seemed tight with pain, as though he had to force them from his throat. "It's not easy being a Level 0 in this city." His eyes glazed over, staring unfocussed at the middle distance. "Being powerless..." Beneath the despairing sigh in his voice was a hard bitterness. "It's not just school. Everything is tougher for people without powers." He explained. His hand continued to stroke Yui's hair, though it was no longer clear if it was for her benefit or his.

"So when someone offers to help..." He swallowed hard, forcing out a weak chuckle. "How can you resist?" His thin smile did little to mask the tears in his eyes.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:41 pm

Touko knew how he felt. She was intimately familiar with the suffering that being powerless brought. Especially when you were trying to do the right thing. She clenched her right hand.

"Look, whatever trouble you're in, I can help." She said those words with iron certainty. "You don't need to face it alone."

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:42 pm

"Thanks," He said, his weak smile fading for a split second. "But I don't think anyone can help me. Guys like Kenji don't listen to reason." He was still for a second, distant and lost in thought. "Listen. I know this is a lot to ask, but could you take care of Yui while I'm here?" He lifted his hand from his sister's head. "I don't want anything to happen to her." His eyes pleaded with Touko. Yui looked up at him tearfully, confusion writ large on her face. His hand once again comforted her, gently patting her head.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:42 pm

Kenji. It was the second time today she'd heard that name. Could they be reffering to the same person? She scoffed at the thought. With her luck of course they were the same. She was caught off guard by his request.

"Wait. Me? I can't take care of a kid. I-" She looked at the pair, and at the desperation in the boy's eyes. Touko's resolve crumbled. "OK." She relented. "I'll pick you up after school." She wore an easy going smile.

Before she left, Touko asked the boy.

"What's your name?"

***

It was evening when Touko fished through the refridgerator. She sighed, scratching her head.

"Well there's always ramen." She smiled at Yui apologetically.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:43 pm

"Fukumachi Ryo." He replied with a grateful nod.

***

"That's OK." Yui said, her gaze transfixed on the TV set. The object at the centre of her attention was a magical girl show, the kind popular with kids her age. Her phone buzzed with another message from Ryo. Her tongue poked out with childish concentration as she tapped out a reply.

***

They looked an odd pair, Tsukuyomi and Guy. The two teachers sat on the corner of the bar. Guy's finger tapped as he resisted drawing his last cigarette. Tsukuyomi, the law abiding citizen she was, refused to smoke in public, so his chance of stealing one off her was nil. He gently sipped on his whiskey, kindly donated by his drinking partner. She had told him that she needed someone to vent at and he had just been the most convenient option. The small woman for her part had been knocking back drinks like they were water and Guy wondered how she managed to handle it, let alone remain conscious. She slammed her bottle on the table hard and let out a deep sigh.

"So what's really troubling you?" Guy asked. "I know you didn't buy half the bar to complain about grades." He leaned forward, looked her in the eye. "It's about that boy from the other day, right?"

"So what if it is?" Tsukuyomi exhaled the words more than spoke them. She could be a mean drunk, it seemed.

"What if I wanted to go talk to this... 'Kenji' was it?" He leaned in. Tsukuyomi's head snapped up and she lunged for him, grabbing him by the collar.

"You can't!" She shook him, her panic stricken eyes imploring him to listen even as they struggled to focus. "It's too dangerous. The entire North district 15 is dangerous!" She didn't even seem to realise what she had slipped out.

"If you say so." Guy brushed her hands away, placating her with a pat on the head. She didn't like that.

"I'll sue you for harassment." She pouted childishly.

Guy Li
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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:43 pm

She emerged a short while later with two pots of ramen gently steaming in her hands.

"Here you go." She handed one to Yui and peered at the television screen, trying to make sense of the action on screen. She supposed that had she been a few years younger she would have probably enjoyed it. But then again she'd never liked the samethings as other girls. She reached for her textbooks and laid back on her bed to study.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Guy Li on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:44 pm

Several hours later and Yui lay curled up on the floor next to the mattress, quietly sleeping. Her phone buzzed with an incoming message and she flipped it open sleepily, rubbing her eyes at the text message. Her face dropped and she leapt to he feet suddenly. Within seconds she was gone, leaving Touko's apartment without an explanation.

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Re: A Certain Mysterious Stranger- Arc 1

Post  Kamijou Touko on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:44 pm

Touko awoke not long after to find herself alone. It took her a moment to get her bearings.

"Huh..." She looked around half awake, eyes heavy and half open with grogginess. "Yui?" She called out to the girl. Perhaps she'd gone to the bathroom. It took her a moment to notice the door ajar and she leapt to her feet.

Touko cursed under her breath. She couldn't tell how long she'd been asleep. Yui could be anywhere by now.

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