"GOOD MORNING, ICH-I-GO!" Keigo half shouted with his usual over the top cheer, gaining much more attention in the school courtyard than was strictly necessary. Though true to form, Ichigo ignored the stares that came their way because of the boy's flamboyant nature. It wasn't like he wasn't used to it by now. Actually, he usually just ignored the guy entirely. "Come on Ichigo, we've been through this, you're supposed to say hello back when someone greets you."
"What you just did wasn't a greeting, it was a poorly written comedy act." Ichigo said flatly.
"Oh, come on man, that's harsh." Keigo whimpered, his shoulders sinking down. But with his head held low he noticed something different about that morning. "Ichigo… there's a rabbit in your bookbag." Keigo stared at Rukia as if seeing the cute little rabbit around Ichigo was the strangest thing in the world.
"Yeah, I know." Ichigo said with a grunt of irritation. Rukia had started to insist upon coming with him to school incase of emergencies. This really boiled down to the fact that the elementary school that his sisters went to ended a little over an hour before Ichigo's own classes, and Rukia wished to avoid Yuzu. Ichigo knew it, Rukia knew that he knew it, but that didn't change a damn thing in the rabbit's mind. Neither did school rules nor what Ichigo's classmates and teachers would think. The boy had eventually caved in and let the rabbit come to school with him, if only to make her shut up.
A wide grin spread across Keigo's face. "Oh, I get it. You're bringing a cute little animal to school in order to try to show the girl's your more sensitive side." Keigo said before giving a loud laugh. "I never thought that you would use a trick like that Ichigo. It has to be the oldest one in the book."
"Isn't that the boy you risked your life to save? Do you honestly have so few friends that you would die to protect this guy?" Rukia said. Ichigo wasn't sure if that was a bad joke or if she genuinely disapproved of Keigo.
"You are the last person I want to hear that from." Ichigo said with a sigh, not sure himself whether he was talking to the boy or the rabbit. "Come on, they've probably posted exam grades. Might as well see the results before school starts."
"Ah, did you have to mention the tests." Keigo whimpered. "You would think being hospitalized by an evil monster would be a good enough excuse to be let have a late test, but the teachers didn't even seem to care."
"Maybe if you wanted to play sick you shouldn't have been so damn energetic." Ichigo said as he walked past Keigo into the school building.
"You know I don't plan ahead when it doesn't involve beautiful women!" Keigo shouted, not seeming to care that everyone around heard him.
"Seriously, you are friends with this guy?" Rukia asked, looking back at were the brunette boy was making a fool of himself.
"Fine, I'm lonely enough to deal with complete wierdos. Like talking rabbits."
"Alright! Now that is what I'm talking about!" Keigo cheered after finding his name in the rankings.
"What are you so excited for? You barely passed." Ichigo said, raising an eyebrow.
"But I did pass, and without having to waste any of my free time on studying. Doesn't get any better than that." Keigo said with an unusual amount of pride for a man who was two points away from failure.
"Whatever. It's your life. Don't study." Ichigo said, sighing at his friend's low standards.
"Wait, he's allowed to not study simple because he wanted to have fun, but you won't give it up to help save the planet?" Rukia said incredulously.
"I'm not having this argument with you again." Ichigo grumbled, getting tired of that particular topic of discussion.
"Huh, what argument?" Keigo said, genuinely confused about Ichigo's comment, not knowing that he was talking to the rabbit.
"Forget it. It's nothing." Ichigo said, looking away and putting a hand on Rukia's head, pushing the rabbit down into his bag as a way of telling her to stop messing with him. Something that only got his hand bitten. It was only his high tolerance for pain that stopped the boy from shouting out at the sharp sting from the rabbit's teeth.
"If you ask me, you've been studying WAY too much." Keigo said looking up at the board. "Twenty-third in a class of six hundred and eighty. Man aren't you a nerd."
"I already get enough crap for my hair. I'm not going to be an academic reject too." Ichigo said sharply.
"Isn't that kind of hypocritical of you? You're always going on about how you don't care what people think, so why care about this?" Keigo argued, a surprisingly sound argument coming from Keigo.
"It's contradictory, not hypocritical. I don't preach anything I don't practice, so stop using words you don't know the meaning off." Ichigo said coldly.
"Hey, that's harsh." Keigo whimpered at the insult. Then noticing that the light around him seemed to have gotten dimmer, he looked up and a wide grin spread across his face. "Hey, Chad-man, how's it going!?" Keigo waited for the usual grunt of acknowledgment from his massive friend, but after a few seconds of nothing he started to look a little closer at the guy. "Hey, Chad, you looking a little on the pale side? You feeling alright?"
Ichigo looked over at the guy and saw that Keigo was right, the man's darker skin did seem paler than usual. His dark curly brown hair looked even more disheveled than usual, and his already naturally bony face looked sucked dry. The guy looked like absolute shit.
"Chad, you in there? Jeez, what's the matter man? Your grade couldn't have been that ba..." Keigo started to look over the bulletin board, searching for Chad's name. "Holy shit! Chad, you're number three in the whole year!"
Ichigo looked up at the board. Sure enough, Chad had placed third in the year on the assessment tests. "Huh, way to go man." Ichigo said, giving Chad a friendly pat on the shoulder. The massive teen's knees buckled, and he started to crash downwards, barely turning away from Keigo to stop himself from crushing the brown-haired boy, who jumped away in surprise, giving a slightly girly squeal. "Chad! Are you alright!?" Ichigo said, checking on the guy.
Chad slowly pushed himself up from the floor. "Ah… yeah." He said with a hand to his head. "Guess I've been studying too hard recently."
"I'll say! I keep telling you guys that studying is bad for your health! Maybe know you'll believe me!" Keigo shouted.
"It's hard to imagine that a few nights with a couple of books could take down a giant like this guy." Rukia said, seemingly caught up on the sheer size of Chad's body. Ichigo would admit that his friend was a little unnaturally tall, being well over two meters tall already, and not yet full grown. Chad stood a full head and shoulders over his peers.
Ichigo ignored her as he helped his friend back up to his feet. "It's rare to see you so dead on your feet." He said before reaching into his bag and pulling out one of the small energy drinks. "Here. Maybe a little caffeine will help you get through the day without passing out."
Rukia looked horrified as Ichigo handed the bottle over. "No! Ichigo don't give it to him!"
Ichigo blinked in surprise before looking down at the rabbit. He didn't know what was going on, but he couldn't exactly talk to her openly in public. Before he could think of doing anything, Chad had already opened up the bottle and downed the thing without looking at the contains.
Chad froze for a moment before a visible shiver swept over him, causing the bottle to slip from between his fingers. Right before their eyes, Chad's skin returned to a more healthy shade and his shoulders began to rise up. In just a few seconds, he went from looking like a man on the verge of death to looking ready to run a mile.
"Chad… you alright?" Ichigo said, a little concerned as he bent down to pick up the bottle. Looking down into it, he didn't recognize the green slug like stuff inside of the bottle as being the same energy drink he had before.
"Hmm…" Chad grunted, stretching out his arms before giving Ichigo a thumbs-up. "I'm good."
"Holy shit. Ichigo, what was in that bottle?" Keigo asked looking at the bottle in Ichigo's hand.
"Ah, it was just a normal energy drink." Ichigo said quickly, pocketing the bottle before anyone could look at it.
"No, it wasn't you fool. That was a magic elixir." Rukia said, sounding a bit like a frustrated child who just saw their sand castle stumped on. "I put a lot of work into getting that for you. It's not easy to make when you have paws you know!" Ichigo's mouth twitched as he wondered just what it was that the rabbit put in that thing. He was more than a little worried for his friend's health.
"Wow, maybe I should consider getting one of those before my next date… not that I would need one but… you know." Keigo said.
"You've had a date?" Chad said, giving the boy a look.
"Hey, that's cold…" Keigo mumbled, sinking to his knees in an overly dramatic manner. "I've gone out where a lot of girls. I swear I have." Ichigo started mentally counting down from five, and sure enough Keigo was back up on his feet, cheerful as ever. "Hey, since Chad is feeling better and how exams are all over, how about we all go to the arcade!"
Ichigo couldn't stop himself from hitting Keigo for the comment, nearly decking the guy. "You moron, last time we went to an arcade I ended up having to fisticuffs some freaky mantis woman in order to save your stupid ass." Ichigo growled. "Give me one good reason why I should go with you to another one?"
Keigo seemed to think about it for a second before answering. "Well… what if it happens again?"
Ichigo didn't say a word. He just stared at Keigo for a few moments before Rukia voiced the thought that had gone through his head. "That is a surprisingly good reason."
Finally, Ichigo let out a long sigh before looking over to Chad. "You want to come?"
"Hmm… Got a few hours between the end of classes and my cram school…" Chad said thoughtfully before nodding. "Sure."
"All right then! Lets go!" Keigo shouted in excitement.
"… You do realize school hasn't even started yet, right?" Ichigo said crossing his arms.
Keigo's body sank down again. "Buzz kill."