Ok... fans of youkomazuki... I know you're impatient because I took forever to update... BUT I WASN'T SLACKING! I SWEAR! I originally planned to proofread the old chapters of 'Dew of Time'... correcting mistakes or even adding stuff in the process... Making myself comfortable in a less-humor writing style... And then re-post 'Dew of Time' back up along with a new chapter!
But yeah, it took too long. Especially when I was working on my (only) other story 'To KHR's World'. Yea, it'll be my priority... And I have so much work over there right now =,= But I still can't post anything... The thought of that is just sad...
Ok, so I posted this corrected ver. of chapter 1 -Droplet of Time to tell you I'm not dead. Ta da! ...Well, review the earlier chapters for now I guess?
Dew of Time's ch.2's undergoing the final checking if you're wondering. (But no promises people)
Ch.1 - Droplet of Time
"Let me see…" I murmured slowly and flipped over the page. Holding the blinder in the my hands as I leaned back onto the chair. "Nakamura Yukina-san has one absence and two lates this month…" I took the blue pen lying on the table in front of me and checked off the name with ease.
"Kobayaki Masaki-san has…" I gapped at this student's lack of attendances, "five absences and twenty-one lates?" I placed the binder onto the table and pinched the bridge of my nose. "What should I do…?" I mumbled softly and frowned. Should I note down his name?
I felt sorry for him if I do…but if I don't…
Knowing that there's nothing could be done, I wrote down Kobayaki Masaki-san's name with a red pen on another paper with a troubled and pitying face... I wonder what will our chairman do to these students...
"Shirayuki," A very deep, familiar voice said.
Hearing my name, I looked up to see Kusakabe-san at the doorway of the Disciplinary Commitee's room, which was previously the reception room of Namimori Middle. He was holding onto a small pile of files, in his mouth was that grass which he always bite onto... I wonder why...
"This is the last of the third year's attendance," He said and dropped down the last of the folders containing Namimori Middle's student's attendance sheets of this month onto my desk (which was my working corner in the room).
"Thank you…" I said softly and handed Kusakabe-san the list of names which I had just finished writing down... It was the list of students who had too much absence and lates without a parent's letter...
"Is this all?" Kusakabe-san asked as his eyes scanned over the list of names, memorizing the poor students who will probably be future victims of Hibari... I hesitated a little before giving him a soft nod.
"Understood," He said and folded the paper carefully in half before pocketing it. Then he reached for the rest of the documents, which I already went through and was organized into piles on my desk.
"You've been working since morning, Shirayuki. You can rest if you want to," He said as he adjusted his grip on the documents to balance the heavy pile of papers. Alothough I'm happy at his offer...I frowned. Well, I'm pretty sure that our chairman will opposite that...
"I'm fine…there's only a little work left that I need to take care of," I told him with a bitter smile and sighed mentally. He smiled faintly at me in response.
"Don't overwork yourself," He turned for the door, but quickly stopped with a look of realization. "That's right. The Disciplinary Committee will be doing a personal belonging check tomorrow morning. Remember to come thirty minutes early," He informed me before taking his leave.
"A personal belonging check?" I whispered to myself as I remembered how we haven't had one this month yet.
"Personal belonging check…" I repeated once more beneath my breath. I wonder if Tsunayoshi-san and the others know about it yet.
Setting the unfinished documents aside, I got onto my feet and left the reception room. Heading to my own classroom where my friends are.
"Crap…it's the Discipline Committee!" I heard someone whispered with a panicked tone which caused me to look at the source of the voice instinctively, only to see a group of boys turning their heads to dodge my gaze.
"G-good afternoon…!" A girl who happened to pass by my side said in a small and terrified voice with her head down before quickly running pass me. I smiled and waved back weakly, finding myself growing used to this cold treatment.
"Excuse me…" I whispered softly as I slid open the door of my classroom gently, catching the entire class's attention. All laughs and chatters ceasaed. Most of them turned pale at my presence and quickly busied themselves with some random things while keeping their voice down.
I wonder why…even though I didn't remember doing anything that was terrifying…
"Suzume-chan!" A cheerful female voice called, I turned towards the voice and immediately caught sight of Kyoko-chan and Hana-chan who were one of the few that did not fear me despite being a Disciplinary Committee member.
"How are the works in the Disciplinary Committee, Suzume?" Hana-chan asked with a small smile as she leaned onto the wall and I returned the smile.
"It's going fine…" I said softly before spotting Tsunayoshi-san, Yamamoto-san and Gokudera-san at the back of the classroom. Apparently Gokudera-san was having a one-sided argument with Yamamoto-san again while Tsunayoshi-san tried to stop them... to stop Gokudera-san to be more specific...
Seeming to notice my presence finally (who wouldn't when the class suddenly went silent?), Tsunayoshi-san turned around. His soft brown eyes shifted and landed upon me. "Suzume," Tsunayoshi-san greeted with a small wave as a warm smile swept over his troubled expression, which was aimed towards his two arguing friends.
I smiled back at him.
A month ago, I never cared about being social. Not to mention to actually have friends.
"Good afternoon…" I greeted softly with a smile as they came up to us.
"Suzume! We're going to the rooftop for lunch, wanna join us?" Yamamoto-san asked cheerfully with a grin, earning a growl and death glare from Gokudera-san.
"You don't need to come!" Gokudera-san scowled and turned his head away, but Yamamoto-san merely laughed it off while Tsunayoshi-san had a troubled expression, as if worrying if Gokudera-san had offended me or not.
I never dreamed that one day I would actually chat and smile with someone who could be called friends.
I've always isolated myself, not speaking to anyone unless necessary, because I knew getting close to someone would only hurt me, and also hurting them in turn too.
"Eh? A personal belonging check?" Tsunayoshi-san gasped at the news of having him to arrive school early when he only barely reaches school in time normally. His face paled at the possiblity of being bitten to death.
"Tch…damn that Hibari, doing useless things again," Gokudera-san cursed the one who organized the event as he scowled and shoved his hands into his pockets.
Yamamoto-san grinned as he placed a hand behind his head, being the only one who was unaffected by the news. "Well, looks like we'll have to get up extra early tomorrow!"
"Then Suzume-chan, will you be joining the check?" Kyoko-chan turned to me with a smile, asking it out of curiosity.
Friends would make me clench onto life, and I know I won't be able to let it go once I do.
I gently shook my head in response. Just when I parted my lips to reply, I suddenly felt a sharp pain drilled through my chest, widening my eyes in surprise. I quickly slapped a hand over my lips as heavy coughs forced its way up my throat, my other hand clutched my chest in pain. I tumbled back and hit a desk accidentally. My legs quivered, weakened by the pain.
I heard my name being called repeatedly, but I couldn't tell who called out to me. My coughs overpowered the voices that were calling me, blocking out all sounds other than my violent coughing. "I-I'm fine…" I forced down my coughs for a sec to choke out those words and quickly dug my hands into my pockets, only to find them empty. Then I remembered.
My medicines…I left them in the reception room.
"Are you sure? You should go to the infirmary," Tsunayoshi-san said, his brows furrowed in worry. He wasn't the only one…everyone of them seemed worry…maybe aside from Gokudera-san who looked indifferent... But I caught him sending glances to me occasionally.
At the sight of their concerns for me…it made me feel a little happy… But making my chest clench at the same time which didn't cause a physical pain. I'm hurting them... It had me reconsider the decision of socializing one moment.
"I'm fine…" I said to assure them and quickly steadied my footing. Trying to force down the coughs and hope they will disappear soon.
"Are you sure?" Kyoko-chan asked with a still worried tone. My smile widened a bit as I gave out a softer, quieter cough.
"It–…it doesn't hurt anymore…" I said and smiled reassuringly, fighting the urge to clutch onto my pained chest. The inside of my body screamed at the tearing pain. Begging me to let out coughs to relieve them.
This was it.
This was the kind of warmth that I never wanted myself to grow attached to.
Until one day…I met him.
Even now, I sometimes believed that it was only a dream…until I see the package of medicine he gave me. He made me believe that I would be cured. He shattered the chains I had wrapped around myself, and the chain that bounded my time.
He gave me hope.
Another heavy cough escaped my lips as the pain suddenly intensified.
My legs finally gave out, unable to support my body's weight with the pain. My body slowly slid down the wall. The pain was squeezing tightly around my heart. The interval time between my breaths shortened. I felt my lungs burning, making it difficult to breathe.
It was suffocating.
I couldn't breathe.
Another heavy cough came through my lips.
I could taste something salty with a heavy scent of rusted copper mixed within my saliva. I tried to breathe, but I couldn't inhale the air my lungs needed with the sticky, thick, copper-taste liquid stuck in my windpipe. I shut my eyes tightly. I couldn't feel anything other than pain... All shouts of worry was blocked by my coughs and heavy breathing. A droplet of tear squeezed out from the corner of my eye out of pain.
Then…I felt something…something warm, grabbing me from behind.
With a gentle tug, I tumbled into someone's arms. I felt the same warmth sliding around my face. I weakly opened my eyes and caught the blurry sight of another person's fingers that was holding onto something small near my lips. Then I felt the fingers pushed the said tiny object through my lips which landed onto my tongue.
Another shot of pain penetrated my heart and caused me to open my mouth to let out a scream but no sound came out.
My teary eyes flew open, releasing a river of tears. My body rejected the tiny object in my mouth and tried to cough it out in order to reject the pain. But a hand clapped around my lips and sealed them tightly, forcing the object to stay inside me.
Once the last droplet of tear was cleared from my eye, I found myself staring into a pair of cold steel-grey eyes.
The eyes of the Disciplinary Committee chairman.
Hibari Kyoya-san, the one who forced me into the Disciplinary Committee on my first day in Namimori Middle.
He never speaks much and rarely shows up, never shows much emotion and hates people who crowd together.
That was pretty much all I know of him.
When I first saw him, I was surprised.
He was strikingly similar to the man who gave me the medicine…almost identical, but only younger. They even had the same surname and the same pet. And what's more…the man named Hibari-san had a companion with the same name and outlook as the vice-chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, Kusakabe-san.
The only difference between them was that this Hibari-san seemed colder, more distant.
I breathed out heavily once I finished the last drop of the lukewarm tea, which seemed high quality. The last bit of pain within my chest vanished for the time being...
"Thank you…Hibari-san," I panted softly once I made sure I could properly speak again. Although I felt much better as the pain disappeared, my voice was still hoarse from the coughing fit. I stared into the empty cup as I wondered why Hibari-san was there to save me from the pain.
Hibari-san kept silent as he sat by his desk, reading through the student's report quietly without looking up. "If you die on the school ground, it will disrupt the school's peace," Hibari-san said without any hint of emotion while keeping his eyes on his documents, as usual.
I gave out a weak smile but a pang was sent to my heart. So was he telling me to die somewhere else…?
"Thank you…" I murmured in a quieter tone, not to him, but more to myself since he didn't gave me any response. Making me seem like I was talking to myself. I leaned onto the comfy black couch I was sitting on, feeling the fading warmth seeping into my fingertips, I looked down and realized that I was still holding onto the expensive-looking green Japanese tea cup. Just as I set it onto the coffee table with a slight clink, a chirp broke through the silence.
I gazed up to find Hibird circling around my head. I smiled and raised my hand, spreading open my palm. The little yellow bird drifted down gracefully like a flake of snow and nestled comfortably within my palm. I gently rubbed my finger on its head, combing those soft yellow feathers and was rewarded by a chirp of delight. The cute fluff of yellow in my palm brightened up my mood and I smiled.
The rustling sound of paper echoed into my ears.
Remembering Hibari-san's presence, I slowly snuck a glance to him. He was still looking over the reports.
My body, that was unconsciously tensed, slowly begin to relax at the sight of the working chairman. Secretly enjoying the peaceful silence that was shared between me and him.
I was still not used to it…
It was only four months ago when he would chase me down the hall with his tonfas. Thankfully, that routine came to an end (before I was killed). Although I didn't know the reason…I think he began to ignore me after witnessing me vomiting blood at the school ground after school.
Perhaps he found it not worthwhile to attack a weak, sick person.
I called softly as Hibari-san slowly shifted his metallic eyes to me. He waited silently for me to continue while I felt myself pressured beneath his intense gaze. I swallowed hard as a cold sweat rolled down my back.
"U-um…about tomorrow's personal belonging checks…" I thought back to the troubled look on everyone's faces... Maybe it'd be best if we delay it?
At the topic, Hibari-san's gaze narrowed more. "Do you have any problem with it?" He asked coldly, as if daring me to object his idea, making me flinch as Hibird quickly flew away from my palm. As an animal, Hibird had better senses.
It must have fled knowing its master's mood was turning for the worst.
"N–no…nothing…" I looked down and sighed. Staring into the interesting floor as I apologized to my friends for my useless-ness in my mind. Not knowing that the steel-grey eyes were still watching me.
As usual…my day ended with another moment of awkwardness with the Disciplinary Committee's chairman.
Another normal day went by…
Another day with new memories engraved into my mind.
Another peaceful day (perhaps).
I would have never guessed…that this peacefulness would suddenly shatter away like waking from a dream.
I panted softly as I leaned onto the gate of Namimori high.
"M-made it…" I coughed softly with my heart pounding against my chest violently, the result of dashing to school at full speed. Panting as I looked up to the large clock that was hung upon the school. It was thirty minuets before school starts, the time when the scheduled personal belonging was planned to be held. But strangely, there were little students in sight. I looked around the gate, but had yet to see the familiar pompadour hairstyle which all of my colleagues had.
"What...?" I mumbled confusedly as I walked around the school ground before checking inside the school.
There was no one.
I walked faster.
I tried to ask some students who arrived early, but they all ran at my approach while apologizing for things that I couldn't understand.
After I reached the last staircase, I was completely out of breath. The walk around the school had completely drained me. With little energy, I headed over to the reception room, hoping to find someone who might be able to answer my questions. Just as I opened the door to the empty reception room, I heard the sound of footsteps echoing down the hall.
When I turned, I found Kusakabe-san, hurrying towards me with a small pile papers in his hands which was threatening to fall apart with the fast pace of his.
"Shirayuki?" Kusakabe-san called out to me, clearly not expecting my appearance.
"Kusakabe-san," I greeted back with a slightly troubled smile. "Kusakabe-san…do you know where is everyone?"
Kusakabe-san raised an eyebrow at my question. "Hibari didn't inform you?" His voice contained hints of surprise.
I blinked at him. "Eh?"
"The personal belonging check has been canceled," he said with an eyebrow raised.
"Canceled?" I nearly gasped in shock. Then what was my run to school for?
"I can't stay and talk. Shirayuki, can you put these on Hibari's desk?" He asked, shoving the papers into my hands before rushing down the hall. It happened too fast that I wasn't able to react. By the time I finally realize what happened, Kusakabe-san was already gone.
I sighed and stepped into the reception room, gently closing the door behind me.
Just when I was about to put the papers onto Hibari-san's desk, a gentle breeze suddenly brushed by my face. My eyes shifted as I turned to the open window.
"It's open…?" I whispered softly, wondering if Hibari-san had forgotten to close it when he left yesterday. I doubt that he likes to open the window to let sun light in when he takes his morning nap in the room.
I walked over to the window, about to close it when another breeze came through. The sounds of rustling leaves and the song of birds (not Hibird) created a soothing melody. I brushed away a strand of my hair and smiled at the peaceful song of nature. I leaned against the windowsill and listened to the gentle melody peacefully. As time passed, the melody grew more cheerful, beginning to fill with voices of students that were arriving through the school's gate.
Distracted by my thoughts, I didn't notice that my grip had loosened over the papers. When another breeze came through the window, the papers were scattered into the air. The paper fluttered everywhere.
I gasped, the rustling of the papers snapped me out of my thoughts. I quickly pulled myself away from the window, kneeling down to the waxed floor and was about to reach for the nearest paper when my fingers grew stiff as I noticed something weird.
I stared at my shadow casted by the morning sun.
There was a strange circle-shaped shadow at the nape of my neck…which was rapidly growing larger…as if it's coming right at me.
When I turned, my eyes widened at the blur of a familiar purple object flying through the window.
Darkness swallowed me…followed by a sound of an explosion and pink smokes which I coughed a bit on.
Ok... there wasn't much change because I didn't rewrite it... And it's still too short... (in my opinion. I mean, each paragraph... not the entire chapter) ...Whatever, I'm already busy enough rewriting my own story's earlier chapters. ((shot