Here it is! Chapter two, and the beginning of Makoto's crazy new school life. I'm glad at the positive reviews that chapter one received so I hope you'll all enjoy the rest of this journey as well.
Powering through the hallways of his school with his bag firmly gripped in his right hand, Makoto Naegi didn't stop for even a second. By then, it was already second period and he was extremely late to school.
Struggling to keep up behind him was Chihiro, an apparent angel who decided to visit earth for reasons unknown to Makoto. Despite being a male angel, Chihiro had been given a female school uniform due to his unusually feminine looks. With little knowledge of how things worked on earth, Chihiro simply accepted the uniform without question. However, now that he was trailing behind Makoto, he began to notice the differences.
Although the angel usually donned a small set of wings, Chihiro was able to make them disappear while attempting a more human-like appearance. Now wingless and walking on his own two feet, Chihiro looked just the same as any other human.
"H..Hey, Makoto-kun?" Chihiro called out. Upon not receiving an answer, he continued to talk. "How come.. Um, how come we're wearing different things?"
Makoto stopped walking and turned to face Chihiro. Not expecting the sudden stop, Chihiro ran into the taller boys chest. He then backed away with a faint blush.
"I think somebody had the wrong impression and thought you were a girl. What you're wearing right now is the girls uniform."
Chihiro tilted his head to the side. He looked as if he'd gone into deep thought. "Boys and girls wear different things? D..Don't the girls get cold in these?"
"Yeah, and uh, I'm not really sure.. I've never worn one. " Makoto stated with a nod. "Do you want to go back and get a boys uniform?"
"It's okay..! I mean.. If I look like a human girl then maybe I should just pretend to be one.. I don't want people to think I'm weird or something." Chihiro answered, with the slightest look of sadness. "Um, Makoto-kun.. Do you think people will find me weird?"
"Huh?" Makoto scratched the back of his head nervously. "No, of course not! You probably shouldn't tell people that you're an angel, though. I don't think they'd believe it."
Although he still looked confused, Chihiro nodded his head.
"Shall we go to class now? We're running really late."
Chihiro nodded his head once more.
Makoto returned the nod to Chihiro, taking it as his signal to begin walking once again. Unluckily, what should have been a few minute walk became much longer for the two. With each poster and window they passed, Chihiro would stop to glance at it. Although he was aware that they were late for class, he became easily entranced by the strange and new things surrounding him.
Knowing that these things were new to the angel, Makoto wanted to do his best to be understanding but he was beginning to grow a little tired of staring at the same objects he passed by each day.
"Chihiro, I don't mean to rush you but we really need to be going now." Makoto reminded him.
"O-Oh! I'm slowing us down, aren't I? I'm sorry.."
Makoto shook his head, "It's fine, but lets not stop anymore, okay?"
"Okay!" Chihiro replied enthusiastically. He extended his hand towards Makoto, who stared blankly at it. "U..Um.. I thought maybe if you take my hand then I'll be forced not to get distracted.."
Makoto said nothing. He only reached back and slowly intertwined his fingers with Chihiros. He could feel his face burning up slightly, but attempted to keep a cool image. "Are you read-"
Suddenly, a piece of chalk came whirling past the two. By some odd stroke of luck, it had hurdled right through them both and hit the wall behind them. Chihiro let out a small squeak in surprise. Makoto turned to face the mystery assailant who had thrown the chalk at them.
Standing coolly in the doorway was the morning teacher, Yasuhiro Hagakure. He dressed casually in a loose button-up shirt with a pair of black slacks and a blazer draped lazily over his shoulders. "If you've got time to flirt in the hallways then you've got time to attend class, Naegi-chi." Hagakure stated seriously. He quickly followed it up with a hearty chuckle.
Hagakure was an unusual teacher in many ways. In the first place, his lessons were extremely relaxed and laid back. He also address the students with '-chi' as opposed to the usual 'san' or 'kun' that most teachers used. Although his lessons were more like a stand-up comedy routine, he was very beloved by his students.
Makoto quickly let go of Chihiro's hand, and looked to the ground in humiliation. "I'm sorry, Hagakure-sensei. I overslept this morning."
"No family members woke you up?"
Before Makoto could respond, Chihiro raised his hand. "I woke him up this morning, sensei!" he replied enthusiastically. He turned to face Makoto with a timid smile. "D..Did I do it right?"
"-And if a teacher asks you a question, you're supposed to raise your hand like this before answering." Makoto explained while demonstrating. "Here, lets practice. What's your name?"
"Chihiro!" The angel responded with certainty.
Makoto laughed awkwardly. "You forgot to raise your hand, and wait until the teacher calls on you to answer the question, okay?"
"O-Oh.. I'm sorry." Chihiro mumbled. "Can I try one more time?"
"Yeah! Okay. What's your name?"
Chihiro raised his hand once more. His movements seemed a little more uncertain this time.
"You." Makoto stated, pointing at Chihiro.
"Um.. Um.. Chihiro!" The angel responded. "Did I do it right?"
Makoto nodded his head. "Yeah, so you get how to answer a teachers question now, right?"
Makoto's entire face became flushed with embarrassment. He was unsure of whether to correct or praise Chihiro's behaviour. He had an overwhelming sense of dread overcome him. The day had only just started, and so much more could go wrong.
"Is that so?" Hagakure asked the small angel with a gentle smile. He spoke as if he were dealing with a young child. "And who might you be?"
Not having expected Hagakure to act so gently with Chihiro, Makoto quickly blurted out, "My cousin! He..She just moved in with us."
"Y-Yes!" Chihiro quickly agree'd with Makoto. " Um, my name is Chihiro. How do you do?" he bowed.
"Now, now. No need to be so stiff! Lets get you introduced to the rest of the class now, shall we?" Hagakure grinned largely. He held the door open, gesturing for the two to head inside.
Makoto entered the classroom first, with Chihiro following closely behind. Immediately, the class stopped what they were doing and stared at the two.
Hagakure entered the room, casually shutting the sliding door behind him. " Alright, we've got a new classmate here today. Introduce yourself."
"Okay..!" Chihiro responded timidly. He took a step out and faced the classroom of students. " U..Um.. I'm not very good at self introductions, but.. My name is Chihiro and it's nice to meet you..!"
The entire class remained silent until suddenly, from the back of the room, came a boys voice, " What's your surname?"
Makoto immediately froze up.
"P...Pardon me?" Chihiro tilted his head curiously.
Panicking, Makoto began to point to himself. He hoped that Chihiro would understand this as a signal to state his surname.
Chihiro gave a look of understanding. "Oh! I know! Um, I don't have a sir name. I have a lady name, because I'm a girl student here! S..See, I have a girls uniform and everything."
The entire classroom became quiet again.
Makoto rubbed his temples, and hid his bright red face. He wasn't sure what embarrassed him more; the fact that Chihiro had such little knowledge on humans, or the fact that he genuinely seemed to believe that his answer was correct.
Hagakure began to howl with laughter. " That's pretty good! You're a funny one, kiddo. Uh, lets see, there's a free seat in the back there, right beside Togami-chi. Go ahead and sit there."
"Thank you." Chihiro said. He began to walk towards the back of the room, where Hagakure had directed him.
Makoto followed behind, and took a seat at his own desk. He could hear the whispers of his classmates as he walked past. His bright red face was impossible to hide.
"Makoto-kun, can I sit with you?" Chihiro asked the boy as he leaned forward, making direct eye contact.
"Yeah, sure." Makoto responded coolly.
Although it had only been three short periods, Makoto felt like it has taken an eternity for lunch break to arrive. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong- and there were a lot- had gone wrong. The angel's knowledge when it came to humans seemed to be little to none.
When asked to solve a problem during class, Chihiro had stated, "I'm sorry, I haven't done this type of thing before so I don't know.."
The mathematics teacher had assumed Chihiro was trying to be funny and promptly scolded him, which resulted in Chihiro crying. Makoto had to quickly step in and make up a story about how Chihiro had been home-schooled his entire life and was shy about starting off at a new school. To top things off, Makoto then had to answer the problem himself.
"Ahhhh, I'm exhausted." A sudden exasperated voice wailed.
The voice belonged to Hifumi Yamada, a close friend of Makotos. The two had been neighbours and classmates since they were both enrolled in the same local daycare. Hifumi had a rounded, bulky figure, and wore circular glasses. He was well known amongst classmates for being a lively and eccentric otaku.
Hifumi took a seat next to Makoto, turning his back to Chihiro who politely remained quiet.
"There are just way too many classes before lunch, you know?" Hifumi complained.
Makoto laughed awkwardly, " You say that every day, Yamada-kun. Maybe you should pitch the idea to the principal."
" Don't you think I've tried writing anonymous letters? They all get ignored, though." Hifumi sighed.
Noticing that Chihiro seemed to be looking left out, Makoto spoke up, " This is Chihiro, by the way. She just moved here."
Chihiro waved his hand shyly.
"Ah, the new kid?" Hifumi side-glanced the angel. " I'm Hifumi Yamada."
Whether it was because of his looks or his interests, or his -at times- difficult to handle attitude, Hifumi had no close friends aside from Makoto. He was a bit of a social outcast, but seemed to be content with his one friend.
"Hello." Chihiro replied.
Makoto began to explain, "She's a bit shy, so-"
Hifumi interrupted, "So how do you know her, anyways? If she's your cousin then how come I've never met her before?"
Makoto immediately froze. He hadn't expected to be caught in his lies so quickly. "Sh..She really is my cousin, but this is our first time meeting too.. She just moved here, so.."
Chihiro quickly nodded his head, as if confirming that Makoto's story was true.
"Hm." Hifumi gave Makoto a suspicious look. "From which side of the family?"
"Um.. My mother's! That's why her surname is different."
"I thought she said she didn't have a surname."
"Ahaha... Oh come on, everybody has a surname... She was just joking around." Makoto laughed awkwardly.
The room was beginning to feel smaller and hotter, like the space around him was closing in and he was going to suffocate.
Hifumi narrowed his eyes, leaning directly towards Makoto. "What is her surname, then?"
"Um.." Makoto could feel a bead of sweat dripping down his brow. "It's.. F..F..Fujisaki. Chihiro Fujisaki."
Hifumi quickly directed his gaze towards Chihiro, who was still nodding his head to Makoto's every word.
"Yes! Fujisaki! Th..That's me!" Chihiro announced.
"Ah, is that so? It's nice to meet you, Fujisaki-dono." Hifumi stated with a smile.
The intense atmosphere that had Makoto in a cold sweat only seconds earlier had suddenly disappeared. It took the boy a moment to catch his breath.
Hifumi changed the subject, "You know, Fujisaki-dono, you look a bit familiar to me but I can't seem to place why."
"Do I? I can't say we've ever met before.." Chihiro mumbled in response.
"Ah, I know! Have you ever seen the anime Super Mahou Alter Ego-Chan?"
Chihiro shook his head.
Hifumi continued to explain, "It's about a boy who falls ill and becomes too weak to leave his home, so he creates a robot simulation of himself named 'Alter Ego-Chan' who uses it's super human abilities to save the town from the evil Monokuma-Sama, an evil bear who is hell-bent on spreading despair."
Chihiro stared blankly, "O..Oh.. Um, it sounds very interesting!"
"Although it never shows the face of the ill boy..." Hifumi paused, "...You bare a striking resemblance to his creation Alter Ego-Chan."
Makoto took a closer look at Chihiros face. "You're right, Yamada-kun. I never noticed it before but she does look like the character."
Chihiro became flustered at all of the sudden attention he was receiving.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is.." Hifumi clapped his hands together and bowed his head. "..Please let me call you Alter Ego-Chan!"
"Ehh?!" Chihiro and Makoto exclaimed in unison.
"Yamada-kun, that's a bit.." Makoto began.
"..embarrassing, I think.." Chihiro finished, in a whisper.
"I beg of you! I've always wanted an Alter Ego-Chan of my own!" Hifumi continued to plead.
Chihiro shot a look to Makoto that seemed to yell 'Help me, please!'
"You're gonna scare her away, Yamada-kun." Makoto said in the friendliest tone possible. "I don't think she'd mind the nickname, but like I said, she's really shy so try not to attract so much attention to her."
Hifumi cleared his throat. "I suppose I did get a bit carried away. My apologies... Alter Ego-chan."
"I..It's okay!" Chihiro quickly responded. "Thank you for apologizing, Yamada-kun."
"It's okay for you to use your wings here. Nobody will see you."
Makoto walked ahead of Chihiro and cocked his head back every few moments to make sure the tiny angel was still following. "Alright?"
Chihiro was no more then three steps behind the other boy. He looked to the ground as he walked, and remained silent.
The two walked through the vacant grasslands on their way home from their long day at school. The sun reflected off of the pond, making it appear brighter than it actually was. The grass whistled in the wind almost as if it were dancing.
"Hey," Makoto stopped walking. He lowered his head slightly. "Did you hear me?"
Nodding his head, Chihiro continued to gaze at the ground without even the slightest peep.
"Is something wrong?" Makoto asked with a note of concern.
As if on cue, Chihiro began to sob gently.
There was something mesmerizing about witnessing an angel cry. The tears fell perfectly down his glowing cheeks, as if each had been strategically placed. His sobs were soft and pleasant like the mews of a baby kitten.
Makoto placed his left hand on Chihiros shoulder. "H-Hey, are you okay?"
"Makoto-kun, I...I'm r..really sorry.." Chihiro stammered. "I messed up s..so much today.. and I put you in such an awkward spot so much.. I'm sorry f..for being such a burden.."
"That's not true, Fujisaki-kun.."
"It's is, though..!" Chihiro raised his voice. "I noticed how embarrassed you got d..during class, and how much you had to lie for me.. I caused y...you s..so much trouble..." He covered his face with his hands.
Makoto tightened his grip on Chihiros shoulder as he stared at him. Then he said, "You've got that wrong. I mean, sure I was embarrassed a few times but I had a lot of fun today too. I think Yamada-kun really had a lot of fun, too. It's been awhile since I've seen him get that excited during school."
Chihiro moved his hands from his face and looked at Makoto with wide eyes. "Really..? I didn't think Yamada-kun liked me much.."
"Hagakure-sensei, too! Granted, he thought you were just joking around half the time, but... it's been awhile since he's taken such an interest in a student before."
"He probably thinks I'm an idiot too, though.." Chihiro added.
Makoto shook his head. "He wouldn't bother with a student he had no faith in. Trust me, Fujisaki-kun, everyone really liked you today."
Chihiro beamed. "That's really nice of you, Makoto-kun. I'm glad I didn't cause anybody trouble."
For reasons he couldn't explain, Makoto felt a large sense of relief when Chihiro smiled.
I'll do my best to help you fit in during your time here on earth. So just keep on smiling like that and I'll know that anything is possible.
That's it for this chapter, folks! I really hope you all liked this one. I felt a bit rusty writing it but I hope it came off better than I feel about it. Next time: Chihiros first weekend at the Naegi household! With so much free-time, how will Makoto entertain Chihiro while still keeping him a secret from his family? Also, the arrival of a new angel! Which character will it be, and what business do they have on earth?