chemistryisfun: (manga - shadowy smile)
[personal profile] chemistryisfun
It was the last Friday before the beginning of the 2009-2010 year. The teachers had come back from three weeks' vacation for an inservice workday today, and then they were turned loose again for the last weekend before their new assignments and new classrooms.

Meaning it was time to celebrate. Night flower viewing party was go. The junior teachers deserved to have some fun, before dealing with Ono for another year.

Yuzuya was in a park not far from his apartment building, spreading out a large old quilt out over a tarp, beneath the biggest weeping cherry tree he could find. He turned on the portable lantern he'd brought, and piled up all of the blankets he'd collected for extra warmth in one corner. The spring might be arriving, but it was quite a chilly night tonight. The bags of food and party things, he placed on another side, too. Lots of supplies!

So far, it was just him. Yuzuya sat down on the blanket and took a moment to gaze up at the sky before the others arrived. The moon rose full and round above the myriads of cherry blossoms above. It looked like it was smiling down at him among the stars. This was the perfect night to do this.

[OOC: some things about Yuzu have changed since last year. Please see here for details]
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Ulf had noticed that he went through cycles of moodiness – or, more specifically, homesickness. At first he’d thought it might have been something to do with the moon, as so many of his other ‘issues’ were, but then he’d had a good couple of months’ respite, so that theory was a bit blown. Now as he felt himself sinking deeper into what constituted melancholy for him, he wondered if he’d ever get used to being here. After more than six months away from home he thought he’d gotten over the worst of it, and that there’d only be the occasional nostalgic pang, but the past couple of weeks had proven him wrong on that count, too.

Well, maybe it was just that his birthday was around the corner. Probably hadn’t helped that his olds hadn’t been able to skip off work for Sports Day – it wasn’t really a big deal, but since basically everybody else’s family had come to visit, he’d taken it a little harder. Big wussy that he was. )
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'Urgh!' Sol thought to herself as she unsuccessfully smoothed out her sheets for the fourth or fifth time. 'I wish I had a maid here! I don't miss home, but I do miss never having to make my bed!' She tugged at the sheets again, and gave up. She would just cover the wrinkles up with her dolls, like she always ended up doing. She started humming softly as she arranged her doll collection, being sure to place Rosa- her favorite rag doll- up on top of the pillows.

'Maybe I could ask Tia Magdalena to put one of her awesome no-wrinkle spells on my sheets, like she did on my dress...' She looked down at the dress she was wearing, and it most certainly was wrinkle free! It made her skin a little tingly from the magic that was infused into the fibers, but Sol didn't mind. It did mean she never ran the risk of burning a hole in her favorite dress while ironing! She really did love this dress, it was soft pink and covered in ruffles and ribbons. It also happened to fit Sol perfectly, and gave the illusion that she MIGHT have boobs. That was always a plus!

Sol stepped back to inspect her handiwork. Every inch of the bed was covered in dolls, as were all the shelves in the room. The only surface that was actually free of them was her homework desk, which had a pile of books and papers with some pens scattered around. Satisfied, she pushed some of the dolls back and then sat down on the edge of her bed, looking out the open door into the dormitory hall beyond. Maybe somebody would drop by...

[ooc: Tia means Aunt in Spanish]
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There were certain things guaranteed to gnaw at Geirulf Ulvestad’s brain without his permission. One, of course, was whether or not his hair still looked awesome at any given point in time. While he was fairly sure that it always did, there was just this fear that it might not be. This is a fairly typical teenage affliction.

Another was that the girls ogling his butt were doing so because it was getting fat or something and therefore they were actually laughing at him. Ulf was less certain on this one, although he was pretty confident that all the running he did pretty well guaranteed him a backside like granite, no matter how big it was. Most of the time he could ignore this one.

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It wasn't fair. Chiaki had been the one to push him away, trying to remove Yadoru from the issue with Chiaki's mother- unfairly so!- and yet, when he heard that Chiaki was feeling poorly, he couldn't help but feel like he should check up on the boy. Especially when he heard disquieting rumors that he was 'bedridden,' which was far more dangerous than anything else. If Chiaki really had collapsed, could it be anything as important as a ghost attack?

After class was over, Yadoru wrote down a duplicate assignment list for Chiaki, putting it in his class bag, then went to the dorms. He knew the path now, since he had been forced to put those ofudas in a protective shield around the room, so he found the way there quite rapidly. Even still... he felt his heart like a lead weight in his chest as he knocked quietly on the door. Chiaki was the first person who knew what Yadoru was, what he could do, and it had ended so badly... what if it was all just a mistake, that Chiaki was just sick and didn't need him after all? Or what if Chiaki felt like Yadoru had failed in his duties as an onmyouji? The boy wasn't sure... and at this point, there was no way of knowing until he got his response. Hopefully, all for the best.
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The Kikuryou gymnasium smelled of wax, and echoed the squeak of volleyball shoes shrilly. Like other members of the volleyball team, Kokoro took her practicing seriously, investing a huge amount of her free time into her sport of choice. That was why she was here this afternoon, dressed in her practice uniform with her hair tied back and her face grim. She'd promised the others that she would clean up if she just got a little extra time, but the team manager stayed with her anyway.

Kokoro knew she'd spent too much time worrying about blood-sucking idiots or the weird occurrences in the school. She had been slipping in practice, and it made her so mad to have let her team down. But that wasn't going to happen today. She was Amamiya Kokoro, after all. Amamiya never surrendered.

Kiku set up the attack on one side of the net cleanly, and Kokoro jumped. The spike was her favorite attack, a nearly guaranteed 'kill' every time she used it. It felt like heaven, those few seconds of pulling away from the Earth's gravity to hang suspended in the air long enough to deliver hell upon her opponents. Off-speed, standing, or hard-driven, Kokoro knew them all, and had learned to keep herself from being a flounder when coming down.

"I think you're getting better, Amamiya," Kiku gasped and wiped the sweat from her brow. "We can use those long arms of yours, and I bet you'll have Osamu's spike score beat by the end of the year."

"You think so?" Kokoro asked uncertainly and pushed her ponytail off her shoulder. "That would be great!" She jumped up and down excitedly, her smile infectious. Kiku nodded.

"Yeah. Hey, listen, I'm glad you're back to normal, Amamiya, we were beginning to worry about you," Kiku spun a volleyball on her fingertip.

"I'm sorry I made you worry, Manager," Kokoro bowed, feeling her ears redden. "I'll clean up, like I said. So, why don't you head home? You've worked hard today." Kiku grinned and tossed the ball into the cart.

"Okay. Just don't stick around too long, I heard there's a ghost in the gym at night," Kiku warned good-naturedly. "See you later, Amamiya."

"Have a good day, Manager." Once Kiku had left, Kokoro picked up another ball and tossed it in the air, bumping it back up when it fell. "One, two, three, four, five, six, se-seven, eight..." Practice made perfect, after all.
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Summer was almost definitely Sachi's favourite time of year. She did so love spring - it was so exciting, with the brightening weather and blooming flowers and general lifting of spirits - but summer was the culmination of all that. It was what she looked forward to for the rest of the year.

This particular day found her contently lounging outside the school entrance, bag at her side and ankles nonchalantly crossed behind her as she lay on her stomach. In front of her lay one of the new manga she'd borrowed off her classmate Mayu-chan. It was really cliché and terrible trashy.

Sachi loved it already.

She hummed to herself happily, just killing time until she was due to head to her club activities; they were starting a little later than usual today, but she saw no real point in going home where she'd only be pestered by her brothers while doing exactly what she was now. She flipped a page, giggling to herself at the ridiculousness of these characters, and making mental notes for her own terrible romance works. Today was definitely a good day.
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It was a wonderful Thursday. The whole week had gone smoothly, her extra-curricular classes had been amazing, and she'd gotten an enormous smile of renewed self-confidence out of a very timid first-year girl. There was nothing like taking down a boy twice your size to boost one's ego.

Ayumi had taken off her gi's top and was only in a tank top as she went through her own usual hour-long regiment. Her Sunday-Tuesday, Thursday regiment, of course. Her Monday-Wednesday-Saturday one was a little lighter. Her last class had gotten out a little early - the kids had done well, but looked exhausted. And so she was twenty-minutes ahead of schedule and not-quite coated in sweat.

The punching bag she was attacking was a good one. She'd spent a little money upgrading from the sub-standard ones that the school had been using in exchange for a slightly more expensive one. The fact that it lasted for five years instead of a lowly two was enough to get even the stingy Vice-Principal to sign off on it. She loved breaking in things like this.

So it was that she didn't hear the door opening across the gymnasium. It was the frantic waving from Yuuichi and the way that Shin hid behind the stacked mats that made her pause. And had it gotten colder in here? All the windows were open, though...
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Kokoro felt somewhat bad about how she and Sol had parted, but only somewhat. While the girl regularly did her best to act her nicest with everyone, she had trouble with Sol. Sol, however nice she was, fraternized with the enemy, and Kokoro couldn't forgive her for that. Not after what she'd started to remember. Not after what she knew, besides, the journal entry had annoyed her - sure, paint Kokoro like the wolf, while Sol in sheep's clothing cried about how meeeeeaaaaaaaaaan Kokoro had been. Hmph!

What if Sol was just like Suguru, and was checking up on his handiwork? Or worse, making sure Kokoro wouldn't be a threat to his secret? It was hard to think easy and carefree schoolgirl thoughts when one had to worry about being attacked in the night (or day, it didn't seem like Suguru was that picky). So, after watching three Studio Ghibli movies, a drama she promised Sachi she'd look into, and three bars of Lotte chocolate, Kokoro found herself at Ulf's door.

She was just here for a quick hug, she told herself firmly. She wasn't going to say anything weird and make Ulf be even more suspicious of her recent change in behavior. Kokoro rapped on the door a few times and stood stiffly. "Ulf-kun? Are you in?"
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"A-and that's our house," Nao said to Ulf, leading him across the white gravel of the shrine's main compound. As they came around the corner, she gestured with one hand, shy.

The Kasuga's house stood behind the shrine, hidden by a screen of bamboo and camellia bushes. It was a rather plain affair made of dark wood and a heavy blue tiled roof. At the edges of the roof hung rain-chains that had long since tarnished to a pleasant green patina. The building had not been painted since at least the 1970's and there were a few quite obvious areas of disrepair. Tiles had been disturbed on the west corner of the roof and were missing. One window two spaces to the left of the front door was cracked and had been secured with duct tape and holy charms. Not to mention the cracks in the foundation, some earthquake damage, a bee's hive under the eaves, and the wood at the corner of the kitchen was rotting away.

Other than that, it was a regular cozy old-style Japanese country home, except for the fact that this house had holy wards plastered outside every window and door. The family's laundry could be seen hanging on poles beyond the house, and behind that, a vegetable garden and an old-fashioned storehouse. And past that, nothing but trees, all the way up to the hills. It was quite the backyard, to say the least.

Nao tried to hold her head high as they walked through the mossy front garden and approached her home. She knew that it was probably noticeable how little money her family had, but it was still her family. )
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With Sports Day over, Kokoro's parents returned home. Her mother went back to Tokyo, and her father off to some other country. Was it India, this time? Or was it Tibet? Maybe it was Iran, Kokoro couldn't really remember.

She'd at least got lots of photos of them while they were with her, and that was important. At least until she got to see her mother during summer vacation. Kokoro sighed and laid back across the bench in the gardens outside the dormitory on a balmy Sunday afternoon. It was nice to have the constant miin-miin-miin of the cicadas in her ears, and she flipped idly through the pictures on her memory card. Kokoro's pink hair was pulled into a curly, flippy ponytail that coiled itself in the middle of her back, her bangs were pulled away from her face with some quickly chosen beaded bobbypins. Kokoro was dressed for the season, anyway, her khaki shorts were fashionably short. The dark navy t-shirt was thin enough to show the hint of a white tanktop beneath it. Her wrists were decorated with chunky bracelets, her heeled sandals were neatly arranged beside the bench.

She needed something to do, someone to bother, and for once she didn't feel like taking her aggression out on her volleyball. Kokoro looked up from the bench and at the expansive blue sky. Kokoro lifted the camera to her eye and focused on the weathervane at the top of the dormitories.

Maybe she'd go looking for ghosts.
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There were certain inescapable facts of life. For normal people, these tended to be things like 'breathing,' 'death,' and 'taxes.' For Morinaga Tatsuki, they were closed to 'achieving victory,' 'obtaining ingredients at regular intervals,' and 'dealing with my mother and other vicious animals.' Sports Day had provided an opportunity for him to buy off at least a tiny moment of peace, but he never had time to sit back and celebrate, nor did he have time to simply do nothing. Time was always pressing, and he always had things to do.

That was why he was here, at the mall in town, a good ten minutes' train ride from Kikuryou. While 'dragon's tears' and 'devil's shoelaces' weren't quite as mystical as their names would imply, Tatsuki couldn't exactly make magic out of nothing. That was why he was doing his shopping, and now he was at the grocery store, picking out herbs and some spices- common household objects that had innate power of their own, though no one would ever guess that was his purpose.

Of course, few people were going to be paying attention to what he was buying. No, the handsome treasurer of the student council left an impression of an entirely different sort, one that made him stand out in the admittedly rather sparse crowd.
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Seated on a bench in the gardens after school, Nao screwed up her face into a squint. She stared at the pink camellia she was trying to draw, and then looked down at her big sketch pad. Then she looked back at the flower, then back at the sketch pad.

THIS WAS NOTHING LIKE IT! It looked more like... well to be honest, it looked a lot like a fish. How had a camellia turned into a fish!?

The first-year held her head with both hands and shook it slowly back and forth. "Ohhhhh... This art project is never going to get done," she lamented to herself, her usual pep becoming tinged with frustration. "Why can't I draw it how it looks! What should I dooo!?"
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(Thanks to Jade for contributing Baku-gami to this one! :D)

The wind whistled through the narrow opening in Chiaki's bedroom window. Casting a tired, nervous glance at the digital clock on his desk, he got up, pacing agitatedly, and finally shut the window after another few moments. The clock read 3:07. Chiaki had been up all this time, trying to decide whether or not he should venture into the night after all.

He didn't want to say that it was because he was scared. That didn't meant it wasn't true, but -- admitting it would only prove Yadoru right, wouldn't it? He glanced out the window, at the moon so large in the sky. The wind whipped through the trees, pushing clouds toward obscuring his view. Why was it that windy nights seemed so inauspicious for him...?

No, he thought, moving to find his shoes. Being scared alone didn't necessarily prove Yadoru right -- being too scared to go at all did. And timid though he may have been, he would not let that stop him. This was something he had to do, and he'd put it off too long.

He ignored the fact that exhaustion was starting to weigh heavily on him in the late hour. )
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It was a gray day of June gloom, and Yuzuya's mood matched the sky as he walked through the school grounds. He rubbed his tired eyes with his fingertips and cleared his sore throat. He had really wanted to stay home. However, he hadn't missed or been late to a single day of work yet since becoming a teacher last year, and he desperately wanted to keep his record going as long as possible. Once he took a day off for himself, he was sure it would be easier and easier to slip into not getting out of bed anymore. Anything but that.

Today he had duty at the back gate, to greet the students as they came in and make sure they were walking safely to school. When it was his turn he always felt embarrassed standing out there. The students' eyes on him often made him feel as though he were the one being supervised and evaluated.

Yuzuya took a shortcut across the grass and through some trees, not wanting to be late. And that was when something white on the grass caught his eye. Drawing near to inspect, he could see that it was a shirt, and then that that shirt was on a body that was lying face down in the grass, limbs splayed. "Oh my god," he gasped. Alarmed, Yuzuya ran over as fast as his legs could carry him.

"Aoki-san!" he cried, recognizing the boy's black mop of hair and the thick glasses. He tried to turn the boy upwards, checked his neck with two fingers for a pulse. It was there, but the breathing was shallow. "Aoki-san, Chiaki, can you hear me?" He pried open one eyelid to see if there was eye movement, and didn't see any. "Shit," he hissed, and reached for his cell phone.
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Soledad was in heaven! She had gone into town Saturday morning to do some shopping, and had stumbled upon the most AMAZING store! It was a small, hole-in-the-wall kind of place and they sold the most beautiful silk kimono-style dresses. She spent HOURS in the store, trying on one dress after another. I can’t choose! She thought to herself, I should just get them all, they are so gorgeous!

Twenty minutes later she left the store, arms loaded down with bags. She walked down the street, giddily humming to herself. She just couldn’t stop thinking about all the beautiful dresses she had and where she was going to wear them! Oooh, and what shoes was she going to wear with them? They were all so different! And…


She was suddenly snapped back to reality by the car horn. She hadn’t been watching where she was going and had nearly gotten herself run over! She looked around and realized she had no idea where she was, had she missed her turn while walking in her own little world? Maybe she should just turn around and backtrack...

After twenty minutes of wandering, she still had no idea where she was. She was probably even more lost than when she started! She stopped in the middle of the street and looked around to see if she could find a familiar landmark for about the millionth time. Crap, she thought to herself, my first time into town alone and I get myself hopelessly lost. If my sense of direction were any worse, I’d end up in back in Spain!

As she was scanning the horizon, she saw a large shape looming up behind the buildings ahead of her. Could it be Kikuryou? She hurried towards it, hoping that she had finally managed to find her way back. As she got closer she realized it was not in fact Kikuryou but a large mansion. Hey, she knew mansions! This was a familiar sight in an unfamiliar place, and somehow it made her feel comforted.

I’ll just go up and ask them for directions, she thought to herself.

The momentary comfort she had felt at seeing the mansion quickly turned into dread as she approached. She couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but something wasn’t right about the place. It was so dark and so…creepy… She stopped in front of the gate, and she could feel eyes following her. Her stomach clenched, and she clutched her bags close to her.

Maybe I should just go ask someone else… she thought as she turned around. She could feel those disembodied eyes boring holes into her back, and suddenly she panicked. She bolted down the street, but didn’t get very far. She tripped over her own feet about three feet away from the gate and fell on her face, her bags and newly acquired clothes flying in every direction.

Crap! She thought to herself, panicked, as she scrambled to pick up her things. Crap crap crap! I’m so gonna die here! Dios, sálvame!

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Ren had been more than happy to set up this particular teacher get together, especially when there was going to be karaoke and drinking involved. What better place to go to than Akiyama Kei's family's establishment where her father promised a discount (Kei had nearly had an aneurysm at the word "discount" and Ren struggled not to laugh) since they taught his baby girl and gave her a good education. The karaoke rooms were more sylish than she had imagined and Ren had heard good things about the food and the flood of alcohol.

It was always kind of weird to see a student outside of school but Kei looked just as composed as she usually did. Even wearing worn looking jeans and what looked like a mens' flannel shirt and tee shirt, Kei's presence commanded one's attention. In truth, the eighteen year old kind of scared Ren. Intimidated was the word for it. Kei always looked like she had dirt on her and Ren couldn't risk any of her dirty laundry being aired for the world to see.

"Welcome, Ito-sensei. I'll be your waitress tonight," Kei's smile seemed decent enough on the outside but Ren couldn't help but look down at her own outfit self consciously. Was she showing too much cleavage? Were her jeans too tight? Too many accessories? "Please relax."

Relax. Easier said than done.

Now all Ren had to do was enjoy a beer and wait for the other teacher's to show up.

[ooc: be sure to reply to each other's comments (the collapsible comments) so that we don't get stuck if one person doesn't reply and he can have more than one convo, like on the sports day thread!]
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[day after Supply and Demand]

With determination in her shoulders and a firm grip on her bookbag, Nao was lying in wait. Not exactly lying, really, more like standing beside the pathway from the school to the dormitories. Sports Day practice had ended and the last bell had chimed, signaling the end of school. Nao had hurried out to find a good spot to wait for her target, namely, Chiba Yadoru from 1-C. He was sure to was sure to walk by on his way back to the dorms. All she had to do when he walked by was speak to him. She was sure she could do it right!

Her hands were starting to get sweaty as she scanned the students walking by, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. )
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The sun is shining brightly in a clear blue sky and Sports Day 2008 is upon us! Chairs are set up on the wide expanse of hard-packed dirt grounds for the students, neatly arranged by team and class. Spectators are crowded around, many in chairs, the more casual ones on picnic blankets. The place is packed and sporty rock music is blaring from the loudspeakers.

Students are marching in to the grounds, dressed in neat, clean P.E. clothes with long team-color headbands tied on. Teachers are walking besides their classes, wearing their school tracksuits and t-shirts, as well as optional hats and sunglasses.

The Red Team's giant flaming tiger mascot poster is hanging in the west, and the Blue Team's huge blue dragon poster is splashing in the ocean to the east. Rivalry between the two teams has been fierce in the last week and the energy is very high. It's going to be a battle to remember!

[This is our first event-style thread. If you would like to write, summarize, or rp out what your character is doing it's entirely optional-- please tag the appropriate event. Don't use our usual style of replying to the original post, but please use the normal LJ style of replying to the person above you. SHORT tags are best here. Characters may compete in up to 3 optional events.]
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Dear Kikuryou Academy!

I watched the dress rehearsal for Sports Day and I must say I'm so proud of you all! You look so youthful and happy in your white shirts and hachimaki!The Red Team is energetic like the burning sun! The Blue Team is refreshing like the waves of the sea!

I'm most impressed by your skills at the Class Jump Rope event. Yamato-sensei, you've been practicing with your students, haven't you? Shibata-sensei, don't feel bad about falling on your ass. Your teamwork is exceptional!

In fact, I think this year is going to be a very close battle. Just to sweeten the pot, I will personally be giving 30,000 yen to the class who wins the contest. You can use the money for your class's treasury. Anything you want! Like a pizza party, or perhaps a donation to charity?

I look forward to Sports Day with you all. Remember to enjoy yourselves!

Principal Narimatsu

[OOC: 30,000 yen is roughly $300.]