After the events of last night, I wasn't really expecting to wake up to the sound of arguing downstairs.

Throwing open the door to my room and peering down into the main area of D-Pod, it seems like everyone's been divided into three groups based on their reaction to the recently introduced Aja Wanatabe and her involvement in the last case.

Those angry at Aja: Candace, Shun, Mai, Luan, Hitoshi.

And those trying to make sure Aja survives her first morning as Aja in D-Pod: Juriya, Kanna, Kasumi, Takeshi, Kano.

And then there's the rest of us: the ones unsure of what side to take or those who just want nothing to do with the argument at hand.

The girl in question looks much more put together than she ever did while she was Greyface. Her shoulder-length blue-silver hair is neatly combed and her blue eyes stare apathetically at the group against her. Aja's also been given a change of clothes that I guess is more suited to her tastes: a fitted black button-up and formal black pants - the exact opposite of what I would've expected to see her in yesterday.

Sleek black women's business attire versus the disheveled mess that was Greyface…the difference in her appearance and how she seems to be carrying herself is shockingly huge.

"Who started this lovely debate?" I ask dryly as an exhausted Sasaki comes back upstairs to the girl's cells.

Sasaki sighs. "It's both Shun's and Aja's fault." she says. "Shun came to Aja demanding a better explanation for what she did. Aja said the longer Kaori held in her anger, the worse the explosion would've been." Sasaki explains and sighs again. "She said she's not sorry for hurrying Kaori along…and then Shun slapped her across the face."

Yikes.

Sasaki heads back into her cell to escape from the argument and I head back into my cell to brush my teeth and get ready for the day.

When I come out again, the arguing has died down for the most part but heated looks are still exchanged between the Ultimate Moral Philosopher and Ultimate Roller Skater.

Kasumi startles when I unceremoniously take a seat next to her. "Jeez…good morning, Sora." she says, putting a hand over her heart.

"Is it?" I wonder. "I heard Shun slapped Aja." I yawn.

"Yeah…" Kasumi sighs.

Eventually, the Guard Monokumas arrive with breakfast and everyone becomes too preoccupied to glare daggers at Aja.

Kasumi's in the middle of telling me why those who took a side took that side when the announcement tone goes off and the voice of that hellish bear fills the room: "Good morning, inmates! Did you enjoy missing the 7 AM wake up call? Too bad! Don't get used to it, some of you were quite difficult to put down last night so we had to give you extra drugs to get you to relax." Monokuma says and I roll my eyes. "Anyways, I just thought I'd let you all know that C-Wing is officially open to explore to your sinful heart's content! Now, Daddy has to go get a checkup so be on your best behavior until I come back, okway?" he coos in a baby voice and the loudspeaker clicks off.

'Difficult to put down'? Just what the hell did they do to us after the trial?

Along with my surprised classmate's', my eyes drift towards the now open hall to C-Wing.

And how did none of us notice that?

Some abandon their breakfast in favor of immediately going to check out C-Wing while others, like myself, choose to finish their food first.

…I'm hungry.

"Truly a raccoon, through and through…" Kasumi says, watching me with a fascinated look on her face.

"...Shut up."


C-Wing

Surprisingly, C-Wing's hallway seems to be a bit more intact than A-Wing's and B-Wing's. It's better lit and while the walls are still chipped, there's no mold and no suspicious stains on the floor. I wonder if there's any meaning to that…

Anyways, better investigate the new rooms.


Better get out of the new rooms-

Kasumi grabs my shoulders as I turn to leave and turns me back around. I scowl.

"I have zero business being in a gymnasium, Kasumi Yuan."

"You need to learn how to defend yourself, Sora Sugawara." Kasumi retorts. "Electrocution, a smack down from Kaori, and whatever else happened to you during the tragedy-" she grabs one of my arms and squeezes my bicep. "There's no muscle on these things!"

"S-Stop that." I pull my arm back from her and shimmy away.

Kasumi narrows her eyes.

Shit.

"Sora…"

"No."

"Are you…?"

"No."

"...ticklish?"

Kasumi and I stare at each other in silence for a moment.

"Oh, buenos días, Señoritas." Valentin greets, breaking the silence and approaching us.

I immediately take the opportunity and put him in between me and Kasumi, "Good morning, Val!" I greet him overenthusiastically. "What a crazy morning, hm? Let's take a walk around the gym - Kano I swear to God if you hit me with that ball I'll be on trial for your murder next." I say when a basketball narrowly misses giving me a concussion.

The boy in question smirks and sticks his tongue out at me as Kasumi tosses the ball back at him.

Kasumi pouts as she comes up to stand on the opposite side of Valentin. "I thought your death threats and I had something special." she says. "Do you go out giving those to everyone?"

Using Valentin as a human shield to keep Kasumi's evil hands away from me, the three of us walk around the gymnasium and investigate.

The gym is nothing special. It has cream colored vinyl flooring with the lines and stripes for basketball painted on it. Its walls are painted white stone brick and there's a set of bleachers beside the entrance to the gym. Basketball hoops hang from either end of the court and there's carts and racks of various other sports equipment along the far wall - a much bigger variety than what's in the Yard. And of course, there are changing rooms along the side wall.

Kano, Hitoshi, Toshiro, and Shun are playing a rather aggressive looking game of basketball - the latter two looking particularly angry at their competitors.

Or, well, at Kano.

Shun must still be angry about Kano defending Aja this morning and Toshiro must still be upset about Kano ruining his show. Poor Hitoshi is just caught in the crossfire.

"Can we take it down a notch, guys…?" the Ultimate Rancher tries. Shun responds by roughly throwing the ball at Kano - of whom redirects it just as roughly at his teammate Hitoshi. "Oh come on! Is this basketball or dodgeball!?" Hitoshi cries.

"At least they're getting along now…mostly." Kasumi observes.

Still…

"Val," I turn to the firefighter. "Whose idea was this originally?"

"Toshiro's." Valentin answers. "Why?"

Considering the purpose of the last game a group played together…

"...No reason."


The next room Kasumi and I find is very, very…blue.

The walls are painted a creamy blue and the shiny tile floor is a plain white. There are no decorations in the room other than a comfy looking couch and a projector hanging from the ceiling playing nature videos. A bit strange to someone who doesn't know its purpose but also very calming.

"What…is this?" Kasumi wonders. There's no one else in here so she turns to me to answer her question.

"A blue room." I answer, putting my hand over Kasumi's mouth when she looks like she's about to say something smart-assy. "That's literally what it's called." I say, giving her a look. "It's an…experimental activity for those in solitary confinement, I guess." I say and take my hand off her mouth to throw myself on the couch.

Kasumi hums, sitting down next to me. "I thought the whole purpose of solitary confinement was to deprive prisoners of everything but the basic necessities." she says.

"It is," I yawn, watching the video on the wall. "But a bunch of human rights groups are staunch advocates against the whole idea of solitary confinement because it usually results in worse behavior and poorer mental health when they're finally let out." I explain. "This room exists so that prisoners kept inside an isolated room for months on end can reconnect with the sights and sounds of nature."

"Oooh…" Kasumi says and turns to watch the video. "I guess this is nice." she says. "There's barely any lizards or anything in the Yard."

I frown. "Probably for the best…" I mutter, thinking about the atrocities the Ultimate Prankster could commit if she got her hands on something with four or more legs.

"Good morning, guys!"

Kasumi and I scream and jump up at the sudden voice, whipping around to find Kanna accompanied by her two tails, Harumi and Aja.

Kanna laughs lightly, "Sorry." she apologizes. "I thought you heard us come in." Kanna says and turns to Aja. "Go on."

Aja grumbles.

Kanna nudges Aja forward. "Go ooon, Aja." she urges.

Aja grumbles again and…is she blushing?

Interesting. If the smirk on her face is any indication, Kasumi seems to have noticed too.

Aja pulls her PDA out of her pocket and holds it out to Kasumi and I. "...Here. They updated my profile." she says.

Oh?

PROFILE UPDATED:

Name Aja Wanatabe

Height 5 ft. 6 in. (167.6 cm.) | Weight 130 lbs. (59 kg.)

Chest 30 in. (76.2 cm.) | Blood Type A+

D.O.B. December 31 | Age 18

Likes Wordplay, dressing sharp, being taken seriously

Dislikes Introspection, homophobes, murderers

Ultimate Moral Philosopher

…Heh.

Aja's eyes are practically daring Kasumi and I to say something when we hand back her PDA. Fortunately for her, Harumi redirects the attention to herself.

"What the hell is this?" Harumi asks, stepping further into the room to investigate.

I give her the same explanation I gave Kasumi.

Harumi scoffs and looks back at Aja. "Maybe you can get your little fanclub in here to get them to chill the fuck out." she sneers.

Kanna laughs a bit forcefully - yesterday's and this morning's events still weighing on her - and roughly pats Harumi on the back. "Hahaha! You're so funny, Harumi!"

Harumi gives her a dry look. "Maybe you need to stay in here for a bit." she says.

I turn away from that scene when I feel a pair of eyes boring into the side of my head. A chill goes down my spine when I see Aja staring at me. She tilts her head to the side slightly as she observes me, a neutral expression on her face.

You know, I don't know which I hate worse: the way she looks at me as Aja or the way she looks at me as Greyface.

"Sora,"

"What?"

"You don't seem to be as upset with me as some of the others." Aja points out simply. "You were not present at this morning's…disagreement. Where do you stand?" she asks.

I frown. "Well…there's no love lost between Kaori and I, but…"


Kaori freezes for a moment. And then: "...She provoked me into it." she says quietly.

Shun's eyes widen. "Wh-What?"

Kaori squeezes her eyes shut. "I almost changed my mind when I found Yume in the Church." she says. "I was going to leave and shove the knife back under Grey - under Aja's door, but she just kept going on and on about what she could've done to make me hate her so much. I didn't get her persistence at first but we all heard their damn biography about her." Kaori grits her teeth. "And then…and then she asked me if I was jealous of her." she says bitterly.

With the end of that conversation, Monokuma refuses to answer any more of our questions. We sit there arguing with him for about ten minutes before Hanako and Taro return with our classmates.

Their faces are still covered but it's clear the pair of lackeys aren't happy when they return, their hooded figures turning towards Shun harshly.

"It's just as Hanako suspected," Taro says, displeased.

"Shun Asuga's pathetic desperation pulled her back from the brink of despair." Hanako says, annoyed.


"You said you acted because the longer Kaori held in her anger, the worse the explosion would be. I disagree." I frown. "She wasn't completely beyond saving. Shun was right: if you hadn't made her aware of the knife, she could've been talked down eventually." I say.

Aja stares at me for another beat of silence and wow is that wildly uncomfortable. And then: "...How interesting." Aja says, pulling out a notepad from her pants pocket and scribbling something down. "As I told Shun this morning, I don't regret what I did." she says, flipping her notepad closed and pocketing again before looking me in the eyes. "But I will take both of your words into consideration for future reference." Aja says.

I glance at her pocket. "Is that what you're writing down?" I ask.

"Yes." Aja answers. "I've been collecting everyone's opinions on our evolving situation ever since we arrived here."

"Why?"

Aja looks at me as if that answer should be obvious. "I'm the Ultimate Moral Philosopher."


The final room in C-Wing…

"Why? Why? Why? Why?" Kasumi repeats as she bangs her head against the blue walls of the giant workshop.

…is excellent.

Kasumi shifts to shaking an unamused Masaki by his shoulders. "Now she's gonna spend all her time here!" she cries.

Heh.

Toshiro, Takeshi, and I looked through the workshop in record speed.

It has every kind of material and tool you would need for any kind of workshop - with a majority of the materials catered to the creative talents cooped up here (I would've thought Masaki's talent would've been included in this as well but I guess our kidnappers don't want the trouble of dealing with rotting animal carcasses). There's several different types of workstations, most notably one with a sewing machine, a crafting station, and a station for me.

Hm….


Nemiko finishes writing and stands up, handing me her notepad.

There's practically every genre of book you can think of: children's books, young adult romance and action books, horror, historical fiction, nonfiction books about the Tragedy, autobiographies and biographies, and more.

I also noticed some of the books look a little worse for wear so maybe you could fix them up if you want to.

Oh?

Is that so?


Maybe I can finally-

Masaki sighs, a bit of a disappointed look on his face. "Man…I was hoping to have something to do." he grumbles. "I'm going back to sl-"

"Hey, hey, hey, Masaki!" Toshiro says excitedly and grabs onto his shoulders -

Wait a second.

"Do you wanna help me make some stuffed toys?" Toshiro asks and laughs heartily. "It's not taxidermy but you'll still be stuffing something!" he says cheerfully.

Where's Kasumi?

"Lewd."

There's Kasumi.

I turn to find Kasumi planking on one of the workstations, her body limp. I flick her braid over her other shoulder. "What's wrong with you?"

Kasumi lifts her head and pouts at me. "You're going to leave me for your books." she says, her expression like a kicked puppy.

When did I say th-?

"My, my, Sora Sugawara," Takeshi says, coming up from behind me. "Are you really so cruel?" he asks with a teasing smile.

When did I say that?


D-Pod

When I return to D-Pod, it's to the sight of Nemiko doing Candace's makeup.

At least, she's…certainly trying to.

Candace beams when she sees Kasumi and I approach. "What do you think?" she asks, posing in her seat. "I haven't seen yet, do I look good or what?"

Nemiko sidles behind Candace, a panicked look on her face as she quickly signs: I told her I liked painting so she asked me to do her makeup. Painting on a face and painting on a canvas obviously do not translate very well.

Kasumi struggles to keep a straight face. "It's…definitely makeup." she says. "You know what, I forgot I have something to talk to Shun about. She's in the gym. I'll just…go there." Kasumi says and quickly flees the scene.

And here she was complaining about me leaving her alone…

Fortunately or unfortunately, Yosuke arrives before I have to say something.

He comes out of A-Wing, looking at Candace distastefully as he passes by and mutters something under his breath.

Candace's cheerful expression immediately drops and she stands up, whipping around to face Yosuke. "If there's something you want to say to me, I'm right he-"

"Sit down."

"Wh-?" Candace's eyes widen when Juriya brushes past her to stand between her and Yosuke.

Juriya, as tall as she is, still has to crane her neck up to look at Yosuke. Despite the fact that she has to physically look up at him to meet his eyes, it still feels like she's looking down on him.

Yosuke grimaces, shuffling uncomfortably as Juriya stares at him. "...What?" he asks eventually.

Juriya stares at him with a cold, curious look on her face. "Are you aware of how much of a moron you are?" she asks.

Yosuke bristles. "Excuse me? You have no right to talk to me li-!"

"I can talk to you however I please." Juriya says coolly. "You're a man of religion, I'm a woman of science. Whatever feelings you hold towards Candace, they're just that: feelings. Your beliefs about her existence are wholly incorrect." she says.

Yosuke tightens the grip on the Bible in his hands. "As a woman of science, Miss Juriya, I would've thought you of all people would understand. It doesn't matter what…" he narrows his eyes. "Miss Candace does to her body, she will always-"

"Clearly you haven't been paying attention in class." Juriya interrupts him. "Sex and gender are two wholly different things. The term sex should be used as a classification, generally as male or female, according to the reproductive organs and functions that derive from the chromosomal complement. The term gender should be used to refer to a person's self-representation as male or female, or how that person is responded to by social institutions on the basis of the individual's gender presentation." she says. "So I ask you again, are you aware of how much of a moron you are?"

Candace's, Nemiko's, and my eyes bounce between Juriya and Yosuke like ping pong balls as they argue.

Yosuke looks like what little patience he's had with us so far is about to crack. "Miss Juriya…" he lets out a deep sigh and puts a smile back on. "Perhaps this discussion would be better discussed over a few games of chess?" Yosuke proposes.

Juriya gestures towards A-Wing. "After you."

Yosuke nods and without another word or look to any of us, heads back into A-Wing.

"I…thank you." Candace says when Juriya turns back to face us, surprised.

Juriya makes a noncommittal gesture. "Don't pay it any mind."

Candace smiles. "And here I was thinking you didn't like me!" she says.

"I don't." Juriya says dryly.

Nemiko and I wince. Ouch.

"You Americans are so…loud." Juriya grimaces. "I like my peace and quiet." she says. "As for stepping in…I didn't want to be a victim to the loud argument that inevitably would've come out of you two 'talking'."

Still, Candace's smile persists. "I'll try to be more mindful of my volume when you're around." she says. "I know how loud I can get."

"Good." Juryia nods and tilts her head to the side, scrutinizing Candace. "Also, I have to say, I'm not a fan of what you've done with your makeup today."

Nemiko and I exchange a look when Candace's jaw drops.

"WHAT?"


By the time lunch rolls around, Kasumi still hasn't come back to bother me so I guess she really did have something to talk about with Shun.

I shudder to think about what it might be.

And without Kasumi occupying the space beside me, two of the male versions of her have decided to take up residence there instead.

"Soooora~!" Kensuke coos. "Onii-chan has come to hang out with you!"

"I'm still eating."

"Come ooooon," Harlequin urges. "You can talk and eat at the same time, can't you?"

I grumble and the boys take that as a yes. Harlequin beams and pulls out a rather thick deck of cards, "Great! Have you ever had your fortune read before?" he asks.

Oh, they're tarot cards. That makes more sense. Tarot decks consist of seventy-eight cards: twenty-two Major Arcana cards and fifty-six Minor Arcana cards - the Minor Arcana being made up of four tarot suits.

And no, I haven't…I guess I can entertain this. Harlequin knows next to nothing about me so this could be interesting.

Harlequin explains the basics of a tarot reading and what he's going to do as he shuffles the deck. He gives the deck to Kensuke to cut before placing it in front of me. Harlequin smiles, his one visible eye gleaming. "Do you have your question ready?"

Hm…


"IT'S YOUR FAULT! YOU DID THIS!"

"H-He tried to - he tried to kill my brother!"

"AND YOU KILLED MINE!"

"I-I-I-"


I frown.

Who was that?

Who…did someone…did someone kill Kaname?

Did I kill somebody?

Is that what Hanako and Taro wanted me to forget? If I killed somebody? Or if somebody killed my brother?

But what does that have to do with the Mastermind? That memory…surely if the Mastermind was one of us they would have been incredibly angry if I did kill their brother. Why wouldn't they have said something when we first met?

Well, I guess I wouldn't remember if they did say something…

Kaname…I can't remember the last time I saw my brother.

"Ah, Sora? I didn't mean to make you relive any bad memories-" Kanna starts apologetically.


"What happened to my brother?"

Kensuke's smile falters - feeling incredibly awkward about calling himself my brother - and Harlequin's visible eye widens slightly before he draws the top card and places it in front of me face down. "Flip it over." he instructs.

I do what he says and my face immediately drops.

Maybe I shouldn't have entertained this.

I place it down in front of me.

"Oh!" Harlequin exclaims, a smile returning to his face. "Don't be afraid! It's…quite literally not what it looks like." he says with a laugh and puts his index fingers to his temples. "Death is one of the most misunderstood tarot cards, you're not meant to take the name of the card literally. It's really one of the most positive cards in the whole deck!"

"...Really?" I ask unsurely.

"Really!" Harlequin insists. "And you drew it upright which, in my opinion, is better than drawing it in reverse." he says and taps the card. "This means a phase in your life is ending and a new one is beginning. Leave the past in the past." Harlequin explains.

I rest my head on my hands, looking down at the card. "What, so basically I need to let the old 'die'?"

"Exactly!"

I frown. "So what does that have to do with my brother?" I ask.

"You love your brother, don't you?" Harlequin asks and continues when I nod. "That means your relationship with him has changed. Whatever dynamic you used to have with him before, that's no longer the case." he says.

'One of the most positive cards in the whole deck' huh…


I mean, don't get me wrong, I love that I do and I'm good at it - I wouldn't be here if I wasn't - but there's really nothing to fanboy over. The only reason people know about what I do is because my brother would post pictures of my work on social media. Kaname was that kind of big brother.


If that's how he was before, what is he like now…?

Kensuke puts a hand on my shoulder. "I guess that didn't make you feel any better, huh?" he asks, patting my head when I shake my head.

Harlequin - socially unaware as ever - doesn't sense the drop in the mood and continues on happily as he takes the Death card back. "Shall we go again?" asks, showing off and shuffling the deck with one hand.

"Isn't it Ken's turn now?"

Kensuke laughs awkwardly. "Ahaha…Harlequin did mine before I suggested we come to you." he says, an apologetic look on his face. "I drew the reversed Hierophant."

"The Hierophant…" I repeat and glance at Harlequin. "What does that mean?"

Harlequin smiles cheerfully. "Seeing the Hierophant in reverse means that you've lost control and flexibility in your life. You have a strong will and desire to try regaining control and you're willing to try unorthodox approaches to do that…" he explains and gives Kensuke a look. "Of course, I couldn't help him apply the explanation because he refuses to tell me what he asked." Harlequin says, sticking his tongue out at Ken childishly.

Huh…


Ken frowns, a guilty but resolved look on his face, just like Shun. "What I did was justified, Monokuma. The world owed that to me, so…" he sighs, shaking his head."


I wonder if that has anything to do with it…

"What are you doing?"

Mr. No Shoes himself interrupts my train of thought and I look up to see Kano standing beside our table with his arms crossed.

"Tarot fortunes. Want one?" Harlequin asks, still showing off his shuffling skills.

Kano narrows his eyes. "...Yes." he says and sits across from the three of us. "How do I win?"

Ken stifles a snort and I put my head in my hands.

Harlequin explains how it works, has Kensuke cut the deck again, and places it in front of Kano. "So, do you have your question ready?" he asks.

Kano frowns. "I don't have a question. Can't I just get a general reading or something?"

"Of course!" Harlequin says and draws the first card, placing it in front of Kano. "When you're ready." he says with an eager smile.

Kano flips it over with a curious look on his face. "An upside down queen. Does that mean I win?"

I smirk. "If anything, that means you lose. Ken and I drew a Major Arcana, the Queen of Swords is a Minor Arcana." I say and laugh at the look on his face.

"Since when were you such a tarot expert?" Kano sneers as Ken sticks his tongue out at him.

"I fixed a book about the different tarots once. I don't have any of their meanings memorized but I know that much at least." I say.

Kano crosses his arms. "Whatever." he says and turns back to Harlequin. "So what does it mean?"

Harlequin picks up the card, flourishing it between his fingers. "When it comes to you and a general reading, drawing the Queen of Swords in reverse means you're not being a very nice person and those around you aren't taking kindly to it." he says with a smile."You are manipulative, overly critical, and downright cruel. How fun, right!?"

Kano seems all too pleased with this reading. "I couldn't agree more." he says with a satisfied smile.

Kensuke and I exchange a look.

It's probably for the best if we don't piss him off too much…


When I go into the library to pick out some books to work on later, fortunately Armen is there so I don't have to use the ladder.

Excellent.

Armen glares down at me. "Is that all?" he asks, annoyed as he hands me a fifth book.

"Yeah. Thanks, Armen." I say, giving him a look.

Armen nods silently and turns back to the bookshelf he was browsing before I interrupted him. Of course, Armen being Armen, instantly starts tensing up with annoyance once more when he feels me staring at him.

"What?" he asks without turning away from the bookshelf.

I've always wondered…

"Why is it that you prefer being called Armen over your actual name?" I ask. "I get Sting and Harlequin have their whole 'former serial killer terrorist' thing and Ryu is a spy or something, but what about you?" I wonder.

Armen freezes in his movements. For a moment, I don't think he's going to give me an answer until: "It brings back…unpleasant memories."

Unpleasant memories?

I glance at his gloves - more specifically at the eye logo on the back of them.

Japan utilizes a secret organization as an undercover police force known as the Black Flower Syndicate. For obvious reasons, this isn't common knowledge. I'm not one hundred percent because I've never seen it myself, but the brand on Armen's gloves bears a strikingly similar resemblance to the description of the organization's logo.

When my eyes drift back up to Armen's face, I nearly jump back when I see him looking at me with an intense look on his face.

Armen sighs and turns to face me completely. "Whenever my superiors addressed me by my full name, things never turned out good for me. So yes, it brings back unpleasant memories when I hear it." he says. "Going by a nickname avoids this. Are there any more questions or can I go back to looking for my own reading material?"

Well I guess that answers that about his involvement with the B.F.S.

"Nope. Thanks again." I say and quickly leave with my books.

Damn. I didn't think I could get Armen to actually talk about himself.

…Nice.


Luan, Yukiko, and Mai are in the workshop when I head over to bring my pile of books to a workstation.

"Ah, good evening, Sora." Luan greets when he turns to see who's approaching.

Evening? Has it been that long already?

…Just what the hell is Kasumi doing?

Yukiko, mimicking Mai's pose, waves at me excitedly. "Good ev - good evening, Red!"

Mai nods, a small smile on her face. "Hello, Sora." she says.

I put my books down at a nearby station. "Good evening…what are you two doing?" I ask, looking between Yukiko and Mai.

Yukiko beams as she follows Mai's movements into another pose. "She's gonna teach me how to dance!"

Mai nods again, her smile brightening a bit. "That I am. But first, we have to work on your balance." she says and to prove her point, raises her leg behind her, balancing perfectly on one foot.

Yukiko attempts to mimic the new pose and nearly falls over but manages to steady herself back onto two feet. She doesn't look put off, however, seeming just as determined as before.

Behind them, Luan gasps as he sticks his arm further into the chest he's been digging through. I move past the girls to peer over Luan's shoulder. "And what're you doing?" I ask.

Luan smiles contentedly and pulls out a set of charcoal sticks - kind of like a box of chalk. "I have been looking for something to draw on the…concrete?" he says uncertainly, looking at me for confirmation. He continues when I nod: "On the concrete in the Yard. There is…not a good viewing p-position but I think it will be fun anyway." Luan says and looks around behind me. "Where is Kasumi?" he asks.

"She abandoned me for Shun." I frown. "Which I guess is understandable, considering…" I gesture with my hands.

Luan nods in understanding. "I see. You are going to work on those books then?" he asks, pointing to the pile of books I brought in.

"Ye-"

"SORA MY LITTLE RACCOON!"

I scream when a certain blonde tackles me to the ground.

"What the f-!?"

Luan gives me a look and I immediately shut my mouth.

"I need your help, Sora!" Kasumi insists. "Let's go let's go let's go!"

I scowl as I try to crawl out from under Kasumi. "What? What are you talking about?" I whine.

Kasumi jumps off of me and pulls me onto my feet in one swift motion. Why is she so strong-?

"It's Shun! Come on, let's go!"


A/N hit the slay button it's been 84 years since i was satisfied with a chapter

also

we will in fact be taking a bit of a hiatus from gac so i can focus on cbr because certain fanfiction users take the pokemon fandom too seriously