A/N: Here's chapter 2! :D

Chapter II


Two weeks. It had been two weeks since that day and not an incident after. Until today, that is and all Hazuki could think was, 'how in the world did he find me?' She could spot him a mile away, given the fact that he was the only boy in the area. Going to an all-girls' school made it a whole lot easier to spot the one boy waiting at the gate.

Girls whispered in the background, eyes falling on the boy with honey colored hair and bright smiles. He waved back with a friendly, welcoming air, which only seemed to cause the girls to giggle in return. Hazuki watched from a distance with an expression of both disbelief and dread.

"Why are you here?" Hazuki asked. She hoped she didn't come off as rude but she really, really needed to know. Being polite was the least of her worries right now.

Rule #3: Always Be Polite and Thankful.

"To see you of course!" Totsuka said cheerfully and he practically skipped on over to her.

Hazuki narrowed her eyes, she could practically see sunshine and pretty little flowers blooming behind him like they did in those shoujo mangas she read. It was terrible. Terrible because the more he shined the more attention he seemed to bring.

And she really could do without any more attention.

"Were you beat up again? Sorry to say but I'm fresh out of bravery at the moment," Hazuki replied, walking past him and out the front gate.

Unfortunately, Totsuka simply turned on his heel and followed after her. Little did Hazuki know that Totsuka was a persistent fellow who did not give up easily. After all, how could he be thevassal of the Red King if he wasn't? Of course, Hazuki had no way of knowing that…yet.

"Nope, I just wanted to talk to you," Totsuka said with a shrug. "I think we could be friends, don't you?"

Hazuki stopped walking then and turned to look at him. She took in his appearance again, looked him up and down with deep consideration. He wore his uniform again today, meaning he had gone straight to her school as soon as his ended. No matter how she looked at him, he appeared to be a normal looking guy.

"Why do you want to be friends with me?" Hazuki asked. She had wanted to ask him a different question, mainly about that day but chose to keep it to herself. For now at least. Totsuka laughed out loud, causing Hazuki to frown.

"Why wouldn't I? You did save me," Totsuka replied.

Hazuki nodded a bit in understanding and continued walking forward. She was quickly reminded of her mother's first rule. Don't Associate with Delinquents and/or Troublemakers.

Except her mother was all the way in the countryside and here Hazuki was, in Shizume City. Far, far away from her mother's prying eyes. After all, she already broke two rules in one day, what's the harm in doing it again? As if just realizing what she was doing, Hazuki shook her head roughly before lifting her chin up.

"I…don't think it'd be a good idea," Hazuki said finally. "I don't think we'd have much in common anyway."

"On the contrary, I think we have a lot in common," Totsuka said casually as he fell into step with her. He was planning something, Hazuki could tell. But whether or not his plans had any malicious intent she didn't know. She couldn't help but feel it didn't though.

"How so?" she couldn't help but ask.

"Hmm, like we both suck at running?" Totsuka said.

Hazuki couldn't help herself. She burst out laughing and was soon joined in by Totsuka. For a split second, Hazuki wondered maybe, just maybe, what it'd be like to be friends with someone like Totsuka. It would be adventurous for sure but also dangerous.

Her parents, especially her mother, would kill her if they ever found out.

"I don't think it'd be a very good idea," Hazuki said finally, turning away from Totsuka. She continued walking down her path home, eyes focused ahead of her. She couldn't deny the sense of disappointment she felt at her own answer.

"Funnily enough," said Totsuka, who stopped walking all of a sudden, "I think it'd be a great idea. In fact, I know it will be."

Hazuki stopped walking as well and turned around. She didn't want to be friends with him and yet she did. As if on cue, her mother's voice and her face popped into her mind. She sighed heavily and shook her head.

"I'll—think about it." She didn't know why she didn't just say 'no' but it was enough to make Totsuka happy. Without warning, his hand was already around hers and he was dragging her the opposite direction of her home.

"Great! In that case, let's go!" Totsuka said happily.

"What?! G-Go?! Go where? H-Hey! T-Totsuka-kun—"Hazuki was cut off by said boy who turned around to face her, a smile brighter than before now on his fair face.

"To meet King and the others, of course!"


"My friends," Totsuka said simply.

"Uhhh a-are you sure this is a good idea? I mean, wait—I never said yes I only said I'd think about it!" Hazuki said, trying to keep up with Totsuka's pace.

Before she knew it, Hazuki was standing in front of a bar with the word 'Homra' written in broad, cursive letters on top. Wait, she'd heard that name before, hadn't she? She just couldn't remember where she had heard it. She turned to look at Totsuka who was, unfortunately, smiling back at her expectedly. With a groan, Hazuki pushed open the front door and walked in.

They were greeted by a loud greeting of 'welcome!' and 'Totsuka!', which only made Hazuki shrink back even more. Because she soon realized that almost everyone in the bar was male. Sure there weren't a lot of them but just by their looks alone it was enough to scare her.

She had hoped they would look a little like Totsuka, harmless looking and kind. Instead, they looked as shady as she had imagined. Her presence also did not go unnoticed as several of the voices seemed to quiet down upon seeing her.

"Uh—who's the girl?" said a bespeckled boy who, upon further inspection was probably only a year or two older than Hazuki.

"The one I told you about," said Totsuka who gently led Hazuki to the bar.

"What? Her?!" said another, who stood up to stand next to the boy with glasses. Hazuki felt her stomach drop each time someone turned to look at her and she wished more than anything she had said 'no.'

"Hey Totsuka, ya mind not bringin' innocent schoolgirls to my bar?" said the bartender.

"Well I figured it'd only be right to treat the person who saved me, right?" Totsuka said and ushered for Hazuki to sit at one of the stools.

Hazuki looked at the chairs and then to the one person sitting at the bar. She hadn't noticed him till now but now that she had, she couldn't help but feel intimidated almost immediately. Fiery red hair and eyes the color of melted gold, Hazuki did think he was attractive but it was undermined by the sheer fact that his entire aura just screamed 'dangerous.' She hesitantly bit her bottom lip and willed herself to not back away.

In these situations, was it better to play dead or stand your ground? What did the animal program say again?

"Oh, don't mind him," Totsuka said, tapping her left shoulder lightly. "He looks mean but he's actually quite tame—usually."

"Shut up," said the other man.

"Uh-huh," Hazuki said, not at all convinced.

She made sure to keep at least a chair away from him and turned to look at the bartender. In comparison to the man with red hair, Hazuki sort of liked him better. Not that he looked any less shady just that he didn't seem to be as dangerous. Which really wasn't saying much. She was reminded of one other rule made by her mother before coming to the city and it rang loud and clear in the back of her mind.

Rule#4: Don't Ever Enter Shady Looking Establishes and/or Businesses

"So what's your name?" asked the bartender whose name Hazuki learned to be Izumo Kusanagi, as his hands busied themselves by wiping clean an expensive looking wine glass.

"Endo…Hazuki," she replied, her voice coming out far more docile and quiet then she had intended. However, he heard her loud enough and smiled back in return. Just like Totsuka, his smile was gentle and kind, which only seemed to puzzle Hazuki even more.

Was it just a ruse? Maybe she was just a terrible character assessor?

"Right, well Hazuki-chan, can I call you that?"

Hazuki nodded.

"Anyway, Totsuka here told us you went and saved him a couple of weeks ago, that right?" Kusanagi asked.

Almost immediately, Hazuki was well aware of all the eyes in the room falling on her and she stiffened considerably. Kusanagi seemed to notice this and he sent a little glare over her head. She hadn't noticed it; however, as she was too busy staring at the counter of the bar.

"W-Well I wouldn't go so far as to say I saved him," Hazuki said, looking up at the older man. "I just sort of...threw a trashcan and ran away."

She hadn't expected Kusanagi to let out a laugh and flinched slightly when he had. When he finally calmed down he reached out a hand and placed a clean glass in front of her. She watched in awe as he made a fruit drink in a matter of seconds, complete with slices of fruit and a straw.

"It's on the house," Kusanagi said with a wink.

"Eh? A-Are you sure?" Hazuki said, looking up in surprise.

"It's fine, it's fine," Kusanagi said a wave of a hand. "Anyway, I guess we 'ought to apologize for even getting you involved in the first place. Sorry about that."

"O-Oh it's all right," Hazuki said, taking hold of the straw between her fingers.

"I knew we should've gotten rid of those jerks! I can't believe they went and attacked Totsuka!" said the boy from earlier, whose name according to Totsuka was Chitose.

"What do you think of Hazuki-chan, King?" Totsuka said suddenly, now addressing the other man sitting at the bar.

Hazuki turned to look at him and noticed that he was now looking at her. She felt herself tense up once more and couldn't bring herself to break his gaze, despite the fact that her face was no doubt slowly turning red. She never did do well under the spotlight. After what seemed like hours of silent staring, Mikoto Suoh leaned back and said one word, and one word only.


"They aren't tiny!" Almost immediately, Hazuki's hands flew to her chest and blushed, only for her to realize he was probably talking about her height. "Err—well…maybe. A little."

Totsuka and the others, excluding Mikoto, burst out into laughter as Hazuki slowly sunk into her chair. She really hated the spotlight. After finishing her drink and getting to know the names of the people in the bar, Hazuki finally decided to head home. It was already getting dark and Kusanagi informed her that it would be better to go before it did.

"It gets dangerous at night," Kusanagi said as he wiped the bar down with a rag. "I'll have one of the guys walk you home, in case you run into trouble."

"I can walk you home," Totsuka offered. "If you get ambushed by those guys again it'll be real troublesome."

"Yeah but if that happens I'll probably just ended up saving you again," Hazuki said as she stuck out her tongue. "And between you and me, I don't think I'm cut out to be a hero."

"I think being a heroine suits you perfectly."

Hazuki merely laughed at his comment and waved goodbye. She refused the idea of being walked home and turned away to leave. She stopped, however, when she heard Totsuka calling from behind her.

"Hazuki-chan, when you decide you really do want to be friends, come by again!" he said from a distance.

Hazuki turned around to look at him, then to Kusanagi and finally to the redheaded man. Their eyes locked with one another, his golden eyes bearing into her emerald green ones. Breaking their eye contact, she bowed slightly as if to say goodbye and he in return nodded his head.

As she walked home, Hazuki couldn't help but feel that she was being watched. At first she thought it might simply be Totsuka trying to scare her. However, the longer she walked the more convinced she became that it wasn't Totsuka. Suddenly, she felt the collar of her uniform being yanked back and Hazuki collided with another body from behind.

"Yo~ remember us little miss?" said a voice and Hazuki looked up to see an older boy smirking down at her.

"Uh—n-no?" she squeaked.

"That's too bad 'cause we remember you," said another boy as he snaked up from behind the one holding her.

"Hard to forget someone who threw a friggin' trashcan at us, though," said the one holding her.

"Crap," she muttered. How did she know that she'd run into these guys? All three of the guys from that day were here now and Hazuki gulped nervously at their expressions.

"Why don't you come with us for a while?" said the third.

"Erm…no thanks."

"Unfortunately you don't much have a choice."

"So what did you guys think of her?" Totsuka asked as he leaned into his chair. Kusanagi set down the rag he held in his hands and turned to look at his younger friend with a quirked eyebrow.

"Of Hazuki-chan? She seems like a good kid but listen Totsuka, that's exactly why I have an issue with you bringing her here. I don't know what it is you're thinking but I'm telling you to stop right now. It's too dangerous for a girl like that to be here," Kusanagi said, pointing an accusing finger at his friend.

"You worry too much Kusanagi-san, Hazuki-chan is braver than either you or she, herself thinks," Totsuka replied.

"It's not a matter of bravery it's the fact that she can get hurt," Kusanagi said.

"Then we'll just have to protect her, right?"

"I doubt she'd want to be protected by the likes of us."

Silently, Mikoto stood up, hands in his pockets and a frown on his face. Both Totsuka and Kusanagi turned to look at him, surprised at his sudden movement.

"What's up?" Kusanagi asked.

Mikoto let out a heavy sigh and trudged towards the door. "That kid…is going to be targeted."

He hadn't even bothered to look behind him nor did he wait for his comrades to follow. The remaining members of Homra turned to look at one another and without hesitation, followed after him.