He who was just an Ordinary Man


Romani's eyes flashed open, he stared up at the ceiling for what felt like hours to him before he eventually managed to release a strained groan as he felt power flow through his limbs. The nurse managed to release a yawn as he tried to stretch his limbs out.

He abruptly halted as he felt a tightness around his left side, turning his head towards the direction he found himself staring at the sleeping face of Leona. He felt his lips curl into a miniscule smile as he stared at the woman's serene expression, her gentle breaths tickled as they washed over his skin as she clung to his side.

Perhaps he would have found it more romantic if she also hadn't stolen away the bedsheets in the middle of the night and wrapped herself up in them. He could count himself fortunate that it wasn't exactly cold in the room though and her sleep-addled state had the sense to at least cling to him for extra warmth.

Either way, he would have to get up. He was always the first one to wake up during the mornings and no matter what he said, his wife would always dismiss it as getting her 'beauty sleep'. Not that he imagined she needed beauty sleep, he hadn't seen her look dishevelled once in the entire time he had known her. If Romani was being honest, he was actually a little envious of her in that regard.

Leona had always been an attractive woman though and it was just natural genetics that seemed to keep her looking that way.

He stared down at his trapped limb before he slowly started to wiggle himself free of the iron-like grip she held on it. He froze as she made a quiet groan and tightened her expression ever so slightly. He felt the grip on his arm strengthen and he found himself giving the sleeping woman a flat expression. Green eyes narrowed ever so slightly as he stared at Leona before their owner shook his head.

He really shouldn't have been surprised at this sort of thing anymore.

Leaning to his right, he hooked his arm around the frame of the bed and gradually started to pull himself in the opposite direction to the sleeping woman, however he soon found himself in a tug of war with her over possession of his limb. His brows furrowed as he bit his lip, pulling a fraction harder and managing to get a good thirty centimeres away from her.

Then she pulled him back towards her and tried to snuggle in closer to him.

"...I know you're awake." Romani sighed aloud, giving an exasperated groan. His accusations were answered by a gentle giggle from the woman with her eyes still closed.

"I need work."

"Five more minutes." She replied, then paused "Maybe six?"

"Leona…" Romani palmed his face with his right hand "Please?"

"...Fine." Her pout was audible as he felt the snake like constriction on his arm loosen and the limb pry itself free of its holder. Romani recalled the limb back to his body and flexed it several times. Leona rolled her eyes at him "I didn't cut off your blood circulation, Romani."

"Hmmmm." Romani let out a small hum in response before he sat up in bed, staring down at the woman with a half smile "Morning."

"Morning~" She sang back with a tranquil smile "...Are you making breakfast or am I?"

"Considering you seem rather content where you are Leo." Romani chuckled, sweeping his legs to the side and over the edge of the bed and onto the floor "I'll have a go at it. I'll try something simple this time."

"Really?" Her disappointment was rather plain in her voice "But I like it when you get creative."

"You like pointing out what I could do better." He corrected her with a gentle smile "Although I suppose you have helped out, I just feel like doing something a bit simpler today." he paused, looking over his shoulder and down at her "Pancakes?"

She smiled back at him, "Pancakes."

Romani pushed himself to his feet, moving over to the wardrobe and opened up the door before retrieving his dressing gown. Pancakes it was then.

"Another disappearance?" Leona frowned as she took a sip of her coffee, staring at the newspaper in front of her with a disturbed frown.

Romani looked up from his breakfast towards her, furrowing his brows. "Really?" he sported a similar frown "That's the fifth one in the last couple months, isn't it?"

"Hmm." Leona nodded her head, an odd expression in her eye as she stared at the paper for a moment longer before sitting it down "I suppose I don't need to tell you not to spend too much time out late tonight then."

Romani gave her a puzzled look before he shook his head "I'm going to be fine Leo-"

"I'm sure all the missing people said much the same." She cut him off, frowning ever so slightly before her expression softened "I'm just worried is all, they still haven't found any of the missing people and I don't want to think about you…" she trailed off, sighing "You were home late last night and…"

"Leo…" Romani gave her a faint smile "I promise. Straight back home from now on." he raised his hands "All my work done and not staying behind any more than I have to, alright?"

"At least go home with someone else if you're staying late."

"Yes, mother." Romani chuckled, pausing when he saw the dead serious look in Leona's eyes. The man paused, pursing his lips before giving a single nod of the head "I'll be careful, don't worry too much about it."

"Hmmm." Leona merely hummed in response as she took a sip from her coffee before setting it back down on the table and turning towards the clock to their left "Looks like we should finish up quickly then."

Romani turned to the clock, widening his eyes as he saw the time was fast approaching when he would need to be in for work. The man hurriedly gulped down the rest of his coffee, grimacing at the heat and shaking his head while Leona stared at him in obvious amusement at his antics before she took another sip of her coffee.

Hurrying to his feet, he virtually scrambled towards the stairs and scampered up them as if he were a child on christmas day rushing to get to their presents. The woman let out another chuckle before her eyes drifted back to the newspaper and lost their mirth.

Her lips worked themselves into a tense frown as she stared at the paper before she reached over and turned the page. She knew Romani was anything but a brave man, she could trust him to run at the first sign of danger at any rate.

"I'll see you later then." Romani hurriedly spoke as he slipped his coat on and placed his staff card around his neck, smiling at his wife as she smiled back. "And I'll rush straight home, alright?"

"Alright." Leona gave him a nod of the head "I know you will, you're very good at running away from danger."

"I think that's a good thing." He gave her a wry smile in response as she rolled her eyes and leaned in, placing a chaste kiss on his cheek before she leaned back and patted him on the shoulder. "Bye, Leona."

"See you tonight, Romani." She waved him goodbye as he opened the door and stepped out into the street. Romani closed the door behind him, taking in a deep breath before exhaling and beginning his journey towards the school.

The nurse walked through the streets - in between those getting to the trains - with his usual calm expression on his face, his mind quickly drifting away into a realm all of its own as he continued his morning walk. Such things were common for him, often he would let his feet carry him all the way to Kuoh while he himself was entirely somewhere else at the time.

It wasn't until he found himself almost bumping into someone on his walk that his brain finally managed to catch up with his feet, the nurse hurriedly slowing down just shy of actually colliding with the back of the individual in particular. However, his eyes almost instantly recognised the silhouette of the man in front of him.

The slightly taller man turned around - as if somehow sensing the nurse - and brought their full attention onto Romani before their lips curved into a pleased smile "Good morning, Roman." the man greeted cordially, bowing his head ever so slightly as he did so "I would say this is a surprise but you always are one of the first inside the school."

Romani offered the man a shrug in response "I at least like to be on time for my job and given the track record of the students, I am typically needed early in the morning." he paused before giving an awkward chuckle "Although it's not that bad, is it?"

"Hardly." Shaking his head, the man slowed his pace to walk in step with the nurse as they continued on their way towards the school "I dare say it is commendable of you to show such dedication to your job."

"Phrasing it like that makes it sound like you're mocking me." Romani muttered under his breath, giving the man a half smile. "Although coming from you, I suppose it is genuine praise."

"I would have more available if you also didn't spend time sneaking away treats from the cafeteria and sleeping in your office." The man continued on with a tone of brevity to him "But I do believe that there is a cut off point when a person can no longer be considered a student to be guided." he paused "Although you seem to be the sole exception at times."

"Now I know you're making fun of me."

"And yet, you continue to slack off in your office regularly." He chuckled to himself "Still, I am genuine in my praise of you, Roman. Your dedication in ensuring these children are well cared for - even outside of your intended role - is very…" he paused as if searching for the right word "Human." he eventually decided on. "I can tell that Issei-kun appreciates it."

"Hyoudou-kun isn't any different from most boys his age." Romani waved his hand, giving a wry smile "He's just a lot more upfront about his desires than they are." His smile vanished into a frown "The way he's acted with me and the way he's presented around the school seem to be almost separate entities."

"You are well aware of why that is, Roman."

"I know, but I don't feel as though it's right to lay all the blame on his friends." Roman shook his head, pursing his lips "Because even if I don't consider him a malicious boy, it doesn't entirely detract from his actions at school either."

"Leave such concerns to me, Roman." The man assured him in a gentle tone, placing a hand on the nurses left shoulder in a comforting manner "I am their Homeroom teacher and I have plenty of time to try and quell some of these problematic desires. Issei-kun has the same potential as every other student in my class and it would be nothing short of negligent for me to abandon him for his proclivities without giving him the chance to better himself in the future."

"Well…as long as he spends less time in the nurse's office, I'm fine with that." Romani smiled back at the man "It might be a little lonelier, but I would consider that a pretty small price to pay."

"Hmhmhm." The man released an amused chuckle as he removed his hand from Romani's shoulder and placed it behind his back "Indeed, a great sacrifice you are being called upon to make, Roman. Did you pass my message onto Leona by the way?"

"I did." Romani nodded his head, thankful for the change in subject "She says she's looking forward to it."

"That woman is quite the genius, is she not?" The man mused with a smile aimed at the nurse "Although she hasn't lost her eccentric step over the years."

"I'm not one for complaining about it though." Romani replied with a wry smile "She's always been very-"

"Sensei's!" The pair paused at the shout coming from behind them, both men turning around towards the voice and finding themselves staring at a smiling Issei Hyoudou approaching them, waving his hand with a grin on his face that was nothing shy of euphoric. "Good morning Sensei's!"

"I told you, I'm not a teacher Hyoudou-kun." Romani corrected with a good natured smile, only to pause when his friend patted him on the back.

"I think you really should humor him, one of these days." He chuckled, "Not all teachers are quite like myself after all." his attention turned towards the young man as he fast approached them "And Issei-kun, a good morning to you as we-" he cut himself off, his posture stiffening as he looked at something just over the shoulder of the boy.

Romani paused at the abrupt nature of the movement before he looked in the general direction of Issei and found himself staring at a young dark haired woman with a dark red blazer and an emerald green coloured skirt approaching from behind with a serene smile on her face.

Issei skidded to a halt in front of the pair of them, his grin never once faltering in the slightest as he stared between the two of them "There's someone I'd like you to meet, Sensei's!" he hurriedly spoke while visibly shaking with excitement and turning around, gesturing to the dark haired girl as she stopped just behind the boy "This is Amano Yuuma!" he turned back to the adults "She's my girlfriend!"

Romani gave a single blink of surprise at the boy, then looked at the girl before turning back to him. His expression remained utterly blank before it slowly shifted into one of pleasant surprise "Really?" he asked with pure curiosity as opposed to sarcasm. Issei gave an excited nod at the man.

"Well then…" Romani turned to her, then gave a bow of his head in greeting to her "It is a pleasure to meet you then, Amano-san. I am Romani Archaman." he paused before he gave her an awkward smile "I'm not actually a teacher, I'm just a nurse."

"Nice to meet you, Archaman-san." She bowed her head in response, giving him a dazzling smile before she turned towards the second man standing next to Romani. She paused at the utterly vacant look he was giving her, fidgeting slightly with obvious discomfort "Is…Is something wrong?"

The man jolted slightly before the ever present smile returned to his face - however Romani noticed a mild strain to it - as he bowed his head to the girl "I was simply curious as to how you met young Issei-kun. As his Homeroom teacher, I am well aware of rumours circulating around him and was merely afraid this was perhaps…"

"Oh, no!" The girl rapidly shook her head at him in response, giving a hurt look "I would never do such a thing to someone and even if his reputation is poor, I don't care about that." she turned to Issei, giving him a beatific smile which had the young man give a light flush. "From the moment I saw him…I could tell that he was the one."

Issei gave her a goofy smile as he nervously turned away, still looking as though he was on cloud nine. Romani couldn't exactly blame him, his reputation with the girls at school was nothing shy of abysmal. Which meant he could also understand his friends' concerns that this might be a cruel prank being played on the unsuspecting young boy. Children could be rather vicious at times.

"I'm sure it's nothing like that." Romani leaned towards his friend, whispering quietly to him with a reassuring smile "This would be a bit cruel, wouldn't it?"

"...You are far too trusting, Roman." The man sighed, shaking his head "Very well then." turning back to Amano, the taller man stared down at her with a stern expression "I trust there will be no issues in the future in regards to yours and Issei-kun's situation, will there?" his eyes narrowed at the girl ever so slightly.

Amano shook her head rapidly "None at all." she assured the man, sparing Issei a glance out of the corner of her eye and giving another of her dazzling smiles "I could never dream of unintentionally hurting him like that."

"See?" Romani gestured to her "You might be a little too worried." He turned back to the girl, rubbing his eyes as that faint pain assaulted him once again before it vanished. A sense of deja vu struck him when he stared at the girl.

As if he had…

"Sorry if this sounds strange, but have we…" Romani pursed his lips "Have we met before?"

The girl paused, staring at the man in surprise for a brief moment before she shook her head "I've only just arrived in Kuoh." she explained "Sorry to say, I don't recall seeing you before."

"...Right, right." The nurse exhaled, shaking his head and giving the girl a tired look. "Ignore me, must have just imagined it or something."

"Come on, Yuuma-chan!" Issei cleared his throat, composed himself enough to smile at her once again "Lets go, there are a couple more friends I want to introduce you to!"

"Alright, Issei-kun~" The girl gave a light hearted giggle at his antics, bowing to the two staff members once again "It was a pleasure to meet you both."

"Nice to meet you as well." Romani bowed his head back at her while his friend to his right merely offered a polite nod in response.

Issei and Amano swiftly departed from them, the boy virtually skipping past them and towards the direction of Kuoh academy, leaving behind Romani and the teacher. The pair remained silent for a few moments before the nurse gave huff of disbelief.

"...I think his friends aren't going to be too pleased." The nurse eventually spoke, turning to the taller man to his right. The man's lip quirked up into his usual smile as a result.

"I dare say that you might be correct." The smile vanished "Still…I suppose it is the teacher within me that is concerned for my students well-being - and knowing Issei-kun personally - that cannot help but worry about that girl." the man's eyes narrowed ever so slightly "Rather…concerning."

"Love at first sight is a thing." Romani argued back, placing his hands into his coat pockets and smiling back at his companion "I mean…when you look at me and you look at Leona-"

"Hehehahahaha!" That earned a barking laugh from the man and a self-depreciating chuckle from Romani as they resumed their walk "Hahaha…Yes, I suppose there might be more to relationships than simple physical attraction." he looked out of the corner of his eye at his friend "Still Roman, you are not a bad man but you are far too trusting."

"I suppose…" Romani muttered, his right hand coming out of his pocket and scratching his cheek "But I like to think I can see the best in people…"

"You're just much too afraid of angering them." His friend sighed in response, "Still, I suppose that particular cowardice of yours is rather appealing but you should try to watch that as well. It can be harsher to spare them the truth than it is to spare their feelings."

"...Why do you always have to criticize me?" Romani slumped his shoulders, the man let out a mirthful snort.

"I'm your friend Roman." He responded "I'm supposed to criticize you."

"Hmmm." Romani gave a hum in response to the man, giving him an amused if a little incredulous look before he shook his head and stared straight ahead. "...He'll be fine."

"Issei-kun?" The man sighed "...If you say so, but I haven't your confidence Roman." a tense frown came to his face "I fear that this penchant of yours to see the best in people has left you blind to the alternative…but If that is how you feel I will not dissuade of this notion. I can only hope that Issei-kun is not harmed by this encounter."

"I would say that love is often a chance to get hurt." Roman paused before he shifered "You've got me speaking like some sort of sage now. I'm not that wise!"

"Wisdom comes in many forms, Roman." The man replied "The average and the exemplary. The exemplary wisdom is for the kingdoms of the world. The average is for the hearts of the people."

"Now who's sounding wise."

"That's common sense, not wisdom."

"Whatever." Roman rolled his eyes at the man as they passed through the school gates "I'll speak with you later then."

"And I'll speak with you later as well." The man replied with a smile as he bowed his head ever so slightly "I wish you a good day, Roman."

"You as well."


"Still not a teacher!" Romani called back with a laugh as he turned in his chair towards the door, Issei standing just inside the room with a troubled expression. The man shifted his face into a more worried tone "Everything alright, Hyoudou-kun?"

Standing up, Romani approached the young man with a critical eye as he scanned the boy for injuries, raising an eyebrow when he didn't find any "...You aren't trying to hide in here, are you?"

"H-huh?" Issei blinked before he shook his head "No! I've got a girlfriend now, I wouldn't try to peek on other girls!"

Romani raised his brows. "That's…very good to hear." the man smiled at him before looking up at the clock "Only just gotten into lunch break…I thought you'd be with your friends."

Issei winced "Ah…well, they weren't too pleased about me getting a girlfriend." he replied with a sigh, scratching the back of his neck "They…erm…kept calling me a traitor."

Romani sighed, shaking his head and pointing further into the office "Alright then…I can't much comment on that, Hyoudou-kun." he replied with a weary look, the boy took the gesture and walked into the room, taking a seat on one of the spare seats. "So…do you need advice or something?"

"A little." Issei turned to the man "...I want to make my date with Yuuma-chan special."

Romani paused, "...Special?" he repeated.

"W-we're going out on sunday and I…I really want this to go well." He admitted nervously "I've never even spoke to a girl properly before and now suddenly I'm-"

"Finding yourself in the rather unfortunate situation of being on a date with one romantically interested in you?" Romani surmised with a faintly amused smile as he sat himself down on the desk chair opposite the boy, resting one hand on the table and the other on his knee "I suppose that might be a bit intimidating."

"Y-yeah…" Issei nodded his head in affirmation of the point, leaning forwards and running his hand through his hair. "I just…want this to go right is all, I don't want to scare her off."

"...I don't know Hyoudou-kun." Romani replied, leaning back into his chair and crossing his arms "It would feel a bit strange for me to try and give you advice on how to get with girls." the man cringed "A lot could really be seen as off with that…what did you even have in mind?"

"A trip around the town." Issei replied "Take her to a cafe, visit some of the shops, get her a little gift and then finish it up with a walk through the park."

Romani blinked at him once. That wasn't what he was expecting, on the contrary it was rather ordinary to him. Dare he say, somewhat romantic.

"That…sounds nice." He honestly replied "I'm actually a little surprised by that to be honest but at the same time, I'm glad you're taking this seriously."

"S-so it sounds nice?"

"I mean…It sounds like one of the dates I went on with my wife before we got-"

"W-wife!?" Issei blurted out with wide eyes, shooting to his feet and pointing at the man in shock "Y-you're married Romani-sensei!"

"Still not a teacher…" Romani replied before fidgeting on the spot "And it's not that surprising, is it?"

"But if you can get married…" Issei realised to himself with wide eyes before he threw his fist into the air "That means there really is hope for me out there! I can get a wife one day too!"

"...I'm not sure how to take that." Romani replied after a moment's silence "On the one hand, I'm pleased you've managed to get some self-confidence but on the other hand I'm not sure how to take the comment about 'if there's hope for me'."

"But don't you see, Romani-sensei?" Issei gave him a wide smile "You aren't a handsome bastard and managed to find love, that means that people like me can find love as well!"

"I should have hoped that would be obvious." Romani replied with a raised eyebrow "But on the original topic…I'd say it sounds as though it would go very well." he replied with a genuine smile at the young man "Definitely shows how serious you are about this and I can tell you put a lot of thought into making this girl happy."

"I want this to work, Romani-sensei." Issei replied with a serious look in his eyes as he sat back down. "This is the first time a girl has shown an interest in me and I…I don't want this chance to slip through my fingers."

"They'll probably be other chances Hyoudou-kun."

"But…what if she's the one?"

"...I don't know the answer to that." Romani shrugged his shoulders "But if you feel as though this is the one. Then you do what you feel is right. Be…be yourself. That's all I can answer."

"...Thanks, Romani-sensei." Issei gave him a grateful smile and a thumbs up "I'll do my best for Sunday."

"Don't try to play yourself up as someone else." Romani reminded him "Try to control some of your less…" he paused, searching for the right word "Hormonal sides, but don't try to act as though you're someone else. Go there and show her Hyoudou Issei." he gestured to the boy "The person who you truly are."

"...What if that isn't enough?"

"You shouldn't have to change who you are for someone, Hyoudou-kun." Romani replied to him with a shake of the head "Not really…otherwise they haven't fallen in love with you." he punctuated the point by gesturing to the boy "They've fallen in love with someone else."

"...Did that work for you?"

Romani chuckled lightly "Somehow…Even as hopeless as I actually am, she seems to love me all the same. I don't think a day will go by when I don't question quite how it happened but it happened." he paused, shaking his head "Anyway, aside from that, just be yourself is all I can tell you."

"A-alright." Issei nodded his head, cupping his chin and giving a thoughtful hum "Be myself."

"Also…try not to tell people you got advice from me on this sort of thing." Romani urged him with a wince. "It would look really strange for a nurse to be giving love advice to a student."

"Right, I'll keep quiet!" Issei nodded his head, turning to the door and waving to the Nurse "Thank's, Romani-sensei!"

"Still not a-" The door slammed shut, Romani still facing it as his expression flattened "...teacher." he finished with a quiet sigh. Shaking his head, he turned back to his desk before he heard a rattle behind him. The man's body snapped around as fast as it could, jolting in surprise as he did so. His eyes scanned every section of the room in the direction he had heard the noise from.

The rattle went off again.

Romani's heart stopped as his eyes slowly traveled upwards towards the ceiling panels. The man stared at the square panel in the far corner of the room. The nurse watched as the man shifted again, giving a gentle rattle as if something was moving across it. While that would be concerning enough, what was more frightening to him was that particular panel led to where he kept his largest supply of junk food.

He'd been saving some Haribo's and cakes in that one.

He dreaded to think that he had somehow managed to let rats into the school purely because of his bad habits. Not least of all because of the hygiene issues but because of what the student council would no doubt do to him as well.

Steeling his heart, he slowly approached the corner of the room, grabbing one of the chairs as he moved in the direction of the panel. Stopping again when he heard the gentle rattle and the panel shift ever so slightly before it settled. Romani exhaled as he approached, dragging the chair around and positioning it just underneath the target location.

The nurse stared up at the ceiling, mentally preparing himself for a worse case scenario as he stepped up on his makeshift stool. Balancing himself as best he could as he stretched himself out towards the ceiling. Pressing his hands against the panel, he slowly pushed it upwards, separating it from the ceiling and opening up an entrance into the space just above the room.

Taking a final breath, Romani slowly rose himself up as far as he could, his eyes just cresting over the edge of the ceiling tiles and staring out into the dark.

Two glowing eyes stared back at him, accompanied by a mop of white hair.

Romani felt his features flatten ever so slightly in relief that he wasn't dealing with a rat. Then his eyes widened in horror as he bore witness to the desolation that lay before him.

Empty packets and hollow cake wrappers.

"My sweets!" Romani's cry was one of pure horror, he stared at the monster behind the terrible crime with such anguish that one would assume they had just killed his entire family. For Romani, it was almost as bad. "Why!?" He practically begged an answer, sniffling at the girl in question.

Koneko wiped the crumbs of the chocolate cupcake from her face and stared back at him with an utterly blank expression before she replied "Good stuff."

Romani could only wail in heartache.

"Aside from the fact that you shouldn't be eating so much junk food." Romani sniffled as he threw the final wrapper in the bin, staring at the mass grave that was his stash before he turned to the orchestrator of the tragedy. "Why were you even in the ceiling to begin with? Especially right now?"

"Had to get it before you." Koneko replied, sitting in the chair and looking unrepentant. "Easier."

"Am I just some source of food for you!?"


Romani slumped at the blunt admission, shaking his head at her "...Alright then…what happened to respect for your elders?"

Koneko raised a single eyebrow at him "Hopeless." she simply replied, earning another flinch from the man as he slumped down in his chair next to his desk and slouched forwards.

"...Fine, fine…" He waved his hand "Probably not the best example, I'll admit that." he conceded her the point before he looked up at her "...How long were you there?" he found himself asking, more than a little worried that the girl had overheard what he assumed Issei wanted to be a private conversation.

"Same time pervert came in." She bluntly replied after a few moments, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a handful of gummy bears and started to munch on them without concern for the expression of grief on the nurse's face as she practically waved her trophies in front of him. When Romani raised his hand and reached over to try and take one, the girl's small fingers protectively curled around them and pulled them away from him.

"...Aren't those mine?" Romani asked in a dead tone of voice.

"Sugar is bad for old people."

"O-old?" Romani sputtered "I'm not that…nevermind." he groaned, shaking his head at her and dropping his arm back to his side "Anyway…listen, I think it would be best if you don't start spreading rumours about the school-" he paused, realising exactly who he was talking too. "You wouldn't do that anyway, would you?" he sighed, leaning back into his chair and running his hands over his face "...Just don't try and be mean?"

Koneko stared at him suspiciously for a few moments before she relaxed slightly "Closest pervert?"

"Wha-!?" The man choked on air, coughing heavily and causing Koneko to slide her chair back to be just out of range of the man "No! Nothing like that! I'm just a teache-not a teacher!" he corrected himself "I'm a staff member concerned about a student-"


"Student." Romani corrected, then pointed at her hands "Also please stop stealing my food."

"Stop keeping it in school." Koneko replied "Against the rules."

"You don't seem to mind." Romani pointed out with a half-lidded look towards the girl. He was rewarded with an unashamed nod of the head, punctuated by the girl placing another gummy bear in her mouth.

Giving out another miserable sigh, Romani looked over his shoulder towards the clock on the wall "...Don't you have your own lunch to eat?"

"Hungry." Koneko replied easily, holding up the sweets "Prefer these."

"Of course you do." Romani muttered as he pinched the bridge of his nose "...Did you at least enjoy the cakes?"

"Yes." The girl replied almost instantly "You should get them again."

"So you can have them again?"


"...Can you at least leave me one?" He asked with a strained smile. Asking her to not steal from his stash was something he gave up on very early on. Practically within a few weeks of meeting the girl. She and Romani enjoyed sweets, Romani was very good at hiding them and Koneko was apparently good at sussing them out.

The girl seemed to consider his request for a few moments - as if his request was actually one she needed to consider - before she gave a single nod.

Romani exhaled in relief "Thank you. Also try to be careful in future." he reminded the girl "Shitori-san caught me yesterday and made it clear she was overlooking some of my hiding spots." he leaned forwards "Try to cover your tracks a bit better, otherwise I won't be able to hide food anymore."

Koneko froze at that, eyes slightly wide before they narrowed into the most serious expression he had ever seen on the girl "Alright."

"Thanks." Romani gave another sigh of relief as he turned back around towards his desk "...Are you going to remain here for the entire lunch break?" he found himself asking when he realised the girl hadn't actually left yet.

Koneko pondered the question for a few moments before she rose to her feet, turning towards the door before she paused and walked towards Romani's desk. The man noticed a shadow fall over his papers before he turned around and found the white haired girl staring down at him with a blank expression. Her right hand extended towards the table and placed a single item down on top of the papers before she turned around and walked towards the door, leaving him alone.

Romani looked between the open door and then to the single gummy bear on his papers. Snorting to himself and shaking his head.

The day continued on much as any other day did. Romani continued to work within the nurse's office with scarcely any visitors. Not even Issei appeared for the remainder of the day, much to the nurses' relief. The fact that he now had a girlfriend and a date to boot seemed to curb much of the boys' rather…immoral pastimes. Or at the very least put them on hiatus.

Romani was still concerned though, the knowledge that Issei now had a girlfriend was rather sudden and almost came out of nowhere in his mind. Still, if someone was willing to give Issei a chance then the nurse wouldn't complain about it. Anything that got the boy to spend less time around Motohama and Matsuda was a good thing in his mind.

The sliding door to the office clicked open, the nurse looked out of the corner of his eyes to see Sona enter the room, the man raised a lone eyebrow as he turned away from what he had been doing - filling out a magazine questionnaire - and turned his attention fully towards the girl, giving her a welcoming smile as he did so.

"Shitori-san." He nodded in greeting to her, the girl let out a light sigh in response, closing her eyes and shaking her head.

"Kaichou." She corrected "Shitori-Kaichou…although I suppose your reluctance to call me by my title might be some habit of yours to see all students as equals, might it?"

"...Yes." Romani stared at her, giving a single nod of the head and wholly unwilling to reply that it normally just slipped his mind. Also for him to be calling someone a student title felt strange to him, given that none of the schools he went to back home did any of that. That and the student council in Japan seemed marginally more important here, or at least they held more power in Kuoh.

The girl gave him a dubious look before adjusting her glasses "I shall accept that answer for now." Romani withheld a sigh of relief "And am here to inform you that you may need to stay later again today."

"...Why?" Romani frowned, tilting his head to the side.

"The Track and Field club is doing after school practice and at least one medical professional is needed onsite in the event an injury should occur." She informed him, placing her hands behind her back and staring down at the man "...I am sorry for suddenly springing this on you." her tone lightened ever so slightly "The club failed to punctually inform us until midday which left us on the backfoot. Normally we would reject their application but-"

"You don't need to explain it to me." Romani assured her with a wave of his hand and a carefree smile "I can stay a couple hours after school." He reached into the pocket inside his nurse's jacket and withdrew a flip phone. "I will need to call home and let them know I will be late."

"Ah, yes. Your wife."

Romani froze. "How did you know I have a wife?"

"The student council is given a copy of the teachers information." She saw the sudden look of concern in his eyes before shaking her head "Nothing too confidential. Merely the contact information of your home and a next of kin and that is kept in the strictest of confidence between the student council president and the headmaster."

"Riiight." Romani replied slowly before he nodded his head "But yeah…also that's really concerning."

"It is standard procedure in Kuoh academy." She replied "We were a private school until recently and we still need to vet any and all staff members. Given the responsibilities of the student council, it was decided that we would also be privy to certain pieces of information." her eyes hardened. "Rest assured, I will not allow this information to be abused in any way."

"Thanks, Shitori-san." The man let out a sigh as he cycled through his contacts and started to text a message to Leona's own phone. "I suppose I can trust you enough with it. You're probably more diligent than me anyway."

"Almost certainly."

"No need to rub it in." Romani muttered to himself, moving to close the flip phone after the message was sent before it suddenly started to vibrate. The pair of them stared at the phone in silence, Sona taking note of the way Romani's face seemed to falter ever so slightly before it turned resigned.

"I will leave you to your conversation." She assured him, bowing her head slightly and stepping out of the room, gently closing the door behind her and leaving the man alone with himself and the disembodied voice of his wife almost certainly about to chide him.

Pressing the accept call button, Romani held up the phone next to his ear "Alright, so before you scold me-"

"How long?"


"How long is it you're going to be at work?"

"Track and field club normally runs practice for a couple of hours." Romani replied, staring up at the clock "So I'll be back around…erm…maybe half-five?"

"...Alright, not too late then." She sounded mildly relieved at the reply before he heard an exasperated sigh come from the other end of the line "Honestly, springing this sort of thing last minute…As long as you come home. I most certainly expect you here by half-five. No later."

"Yes, Leona." Romani nodded his head in response, leaning back into his chair "No later. It's only today though and I'm sure I'm not going to be the next target of whatever is going on around here."


"Right, right…" Rubbing the bridge of his nose, he sniffed before smiling "See you later."

"Love you."

"...See you later."


"...I love you too." He mumbled back in a quiet, slightly embarrassed voice. The response was a melodious giggle from the other end of the line followed by the line going dead. Roman took the phone away from his ear, closing it up and slotting it into his pocket.

Turning around in his chair, the man looked towards the clock to see the bell approaching before he leaned back into his chair and rubbed his chin.

"...I'm gonna miss magical levi*tan." He realised morosely.

Sona paused, narrowing her eyes and pursing her lips as she walked back through the corridors towards the student council room. Giving a shake of the head, she dismissed the odd feeling of being troubled as if it had never existed.

As she entered the student council, she already found the others hard at work with their final duties for the day. Her eyes landed on Saji Genshirou, the boy still managing to work as enthusiastically as he had been at the start of the day. That was pleasing to her, at the very least he showed determination which was part of the reason why she had chosen him.

Drive was useful.

"You're done for the day, Saji-san." She informed the boy, eliciting a jolt as he hadn't so much as heard the girl enter the room. Spinning around, he instantly broke away from his conversation with Rimura - much to the girls mild disappointment - and snapped to attention.

"Yes, Sona-Kaichou." He nodded his head, pausing as he then furrowed his brows "Are you sure, Sona-Kaichou?" he asked again, pointing behind him "I wouldn't want to leave while there are still-"

"Saji-san. We shall take it from here." She repeated, stepping aside from the door so as to allow him to pass. "Thank you for all your hard work today and be sure to come into school bright and early tomorrow."

"Yes, Sona-Kaichou!" He grinned, nodding his head and pacing towards the door before turning back towards the room "Good evening, everyone!" he called out, leaving the room soon after wishing a parting.

"...He's as enthusiastic as ever." Sona spoke as she turned away from the door "I have decided to extend him an invitation tomorrow." She informed the others in the room, the reveal coming as little surprise given the amount of time he had spent on a trial run as part of the student council. Not to mention the fact he had also been coming to them for their out of school help and had grown familiar with some of the other members of the peerage.

Tsubaki nodded her head before thinning her lips "I assume you have just returned from informing Archaman-sensei about the track and field club."

Sona nodded her head in response, moving around the room towards her desk "I have. He showed little to no grievances in the matter." her lips thinned as she sat down "...I do not believe there has been a single instance where he has shown open disdain."

"Not even to the perverted trio." Meguri remarked with a hint of surprise, soon followed by suspicion "Unless he sees them as kindred spirits…" she muttered to herself, cupping her chin and staring at the ceiling "You don't think-"

"No." Sona decided to cut that down before it could blossom. "I am certain it is more to do with his personality than anything else which - for a staff member - is commendable." shaking her head, she rested her elbows on her desk and interlocked her fingers "That aside, what report on the disappearances?"

The rather casual attitude of the room chilled in an instant, the expressions of the student council darkening considerably.

"The last one occurred on the west side of the town." Tsubaki spoke in a grim tone "The location coincided with an abandoned apartment complex near the train station." she informed the President, the devil paused, raising an eyebrow in surprise.

"That seems…unusually careless." She replied in a slow and calculated tone as she attempted to formulate a reasoning behind the action. "Surely they would be aware that there are other Devils within this town, or at the very least the presence of a Youkai base of operations if they were unaware of the loaning agreement."

Tsubaki only offered a shrug in response "I cannot contemplate their reasoning. Perhaps they are simply of the sort of Stray Devils that are more impulsive."

"Hmmm." Sona hummed in response, weighing up the argument within her head. It wasn't outside the realms of possibility that this was a Stray Devil that was careless. However, recent months had been somewhat quiet. The amount of Stray Devils entering their territory had always been small and yet this was the first possible sighting of one in months. Which was far from normal. Meaning they had either been quiet and careful - which the front page newspaper disappearances indicated they weren't - or something else was going on that she wasn't aware of.

Shaking her head, she leaned back into her chair. The goings on of other territories would have to wait for now, Kuoh was her main priority and this stray was just within the confines of her jurisdiction of the town. It would make for an adequate trial for Saji if he did agree to become a member of her peerage, not that she doubted he would. She believed herself to be a good judge of character in that regard.

"...Survey the landscape overnight." She decided to go with. It would be risky in the event the Stray attempted to feed again, however considering the latest disappearance had occurred within the week there wouldn't be another attack for at least a few days. It was a calculated risk but preferable to charging in blind and being caught off-guard. "Confirm all entrances and exist within the building and if the Stray Devil is there. We will go tomorrow evening after Genshirou-san has been invited into the peerage."

Meguri tilted her head in concern "Isn't that rather…risky for a first act as a Devil?"

"It is also an opportune time to show him the worst our kind will have to offer as well as what his duties would entail beyond the fulfillment of contracts." Sona replied swiftly and clinically "However, keep me informed if the Stray is present and attempts to leave. Should that occur, we will mobilise immediately and put it down and wait for the next opportunity."

Tsubaki nodded her head in response before she paused, pursing her lips and scrunching up her brows slightly "And…the Fallen?"

"You mean the one that Hyoudou Issei paraded through the front gates after Rias assured me she had the matter well in hand?" Sona replied with her lips drawn into a thin line "...She tells me it's still under control and I am inclined to let her be for the moment." she paused "If she appears within the school again, keep an eye on her as well."

"So we leave her be for the moment?" Tsuabasa asked with a frown, placing one hand on her hips "Isn't that risky?"

"Whether it is risky or not is no longer our concern. Rias has already staked her claim on the matter and we will adhere to the rules of our stay and allow her the opportunity to deal with the situation." She paused "In such a manner that doesn't violate the ceasefire. The situation is complicated enough without the fact there may be more than one within Kuoh right now."

Tsubasa nodded her head once in response, stepping back "I understand."

"Good." Sona paused. "Now then…I believe we have several items on the agenda that must be completed before we might go home."

She was rewarded with subtle groans from one or two members of her peerage, earning a flat look from the woman "This is the responsibility we have as members of the student council. Do not complain about the work we put into bettering the students' work ethic."

""Yes Kaichou.""

A knock at the door had Romani jolt in surprise, the man starting back away with a gasp.

"Still here, Roman?" The voice of his friend echoed out from the door with a touch of confusion to it "I saw the lights on and simply thought you had forgotten to turn them off before you left."

Romani released a mirthful huff at that, shaking his head "No…Track and Field club are doing afterschool practice, I'm here in case someone sprains an ankle or has a nasty fall."

"Ah, I see." The man nodded his head in response, giving an understanding smile "I assume Leona didn't complain too harshly?"

"As long as I'm home no later than half five." Romani replied with a yawn, rubbing his eyes and staring up at the clock "Talk about me being here late, what about you? It's just gone four."

"Some of us have to mark papers, Roman." The man responded with a flat tone "I was just finishing up for the day before I headed on home. Still, I will leave you to it in the event the students need you. Do be careful." he warned "Those disappearances are getting some of the parents in a terrible fright for their children."

"Leona said the same thing to me."

"Like I said. The parents are getting in a terrible-"

Romani gave him a flat look, the man cutting off his remark with a chuckle "Don't take it too personally. We both know without her you'd be rather hopeless."

"I mean…It doesn't need to be brought up all the time." Romani remarked with a childish huff "We all know it enough not to mention it."

"Indeed. Goodnight, Roman."

"Goodnight. See you tomorrow."

"...It's Friday, Roman."

"Is it? Huh…see you Monday then."

The man parted silently, closing the door behind him and leaving Romani alone in the nurse's office. The strawberry haired man rubbed his eyes as he blinked profusely to stay awake. Once again, his eyes started to tingle a little bit. Not quite as painfully as last time but still uncomfortable.

He was wondering why he was thinking about the train station again. He paused, furrowing his brows and rubbing his eyes. "Weird." he muttered to himself, wholly confused as the image seemed to shift to the old apartments near the station, then there was this foreboding feeling that seemed to flood his body, when he thought of his usual route home it was as if he was protesting against it.

Romani merely shook his head "Don't let him get to you, Roman." he whispered to himself, rolling his chair back around to face his desk "Don't let him get to you…nothing to worry about."

He'd always been able to walk past the station before without incident.

The shape growled as it dragged itself up.

They were hungry, so very, very hungry.

The last one had been too skinny, not enough meat on them and they died too quickly. They didn't have long enough to savour the taste. Red eyes flickered down towards the bloodied remains in the corner of the room.

The furred being growled as it raised itself higher on its double jointed legs, clawed hands flexed themselves open and closed before the head turned in the direction of the rags covering the window. Flickers of light still poured through the few gaps, illuminating the otherwise pitch-black room just a touch.

Later. They would hunt later. Find a good meal for themselves. They knew it was risky, they would have to leave soon before others found it. Youkai or Devil hunters. They could have sworn they saw a Church as well. Christians.

The hulking figure skulked further into the shadows and out of the way of the sun, growling all the while.

AN: Yes yes, I know what I said about upload speed and all that jazz.

I'd already gotten this chapter halfway done by the time I uploaded the first one so I just figured it was easier to complete it or whatever. So you get a faster upload than I was expecting.

(P.S I know Sensei can also be used for Doctor and Nurses. Romani isn't Japanese so he's a little confused)