Monday morning comes too quickly for Jo. The previous night was filled with a groggy, written-on-napkins explanation of what happened to her parents (and a fist-bump from her dad) and the discovery that she couldn't walk without limping heavily, having completely forgotten that she had taken a bat right above her knee.
Whoops. At least she had been able to make Sauria laugh by pointing out the bruise sort of looks like a giraffe.
At school, however, it didn't seem nearly as funny. She already had a reputation at school for being some sort of gangster among the general student population, and this certainly didn't help the rumors.
Kirei finds her as soon as they get to campus, and shoots glares at anyone who stares at them for too long. Andrew waves at them from a group of preps, looking rather apologetic. The fact Kirei won't let him hang out with them at school is especially bothersome today, but he still keeps away. At least from here he can dispel rumors about what happened. Gossip spreads fast at the hands of high school girls, especially the preppy crowd.
"You should've just skipped today!" Kirei hisses at her. "Sauria, why did you let her come?"
Sauria stiffens and glares at Kirei. "You don't think I tried?"
"Well I-" Kirei's start to a tirade is interrupted when Jo clears her throat and raises an eyebrow at the redhead. Kirei just sighs and rolls her eyes. "Yer a dumb fuck, ya know that?"
Jo just shrugs in response.
"Kirei, can you stop ragging on her when she can't even speak for herself?" Sauria bites out. The tension between them is back without Jo to mediate verbally.
"I'll fuckin talk to her however I want! She needs someone to tell her what a dumbass she is!"
Sauria freezes and scowls at Kirei, clutching Jo's bandaged hand so tightly her knuckles are white. Kirei turns and plants her hands on her hips, daring Sauria to say something.
"Guys, knock it off!" Jo's voice comes out a strangled whisper, and she winces and clutches her throat as soon as she speaks. It's enough to get the girls to stop bickering, however.
"I said no talking, Jo
." Kirei lets out a breath and rubs her head. "And I'm sorry. Guess this whole gangster thing's got me all wound up."
Jo shrugs, and moves to usher them all through the school's side doors when they're stopped by a loud,
"What the fuck happened??" They all turn to see a shorter girl with raven hair stomp up to them, dragging a reluctant-looking brown haired girl behind her.
Jo waves sheepishly.
"Jo what the fuck!" Rei Sasaki closes the gap between them and jabs Jo in the chest with a finger. Jo grunts in pain and takes a step back, prompting Sauria to forget the newcomers and turn to make sure she's okay.
"Rei, calm down!" Her companion, Resu Sosora, makes a grab for Rei's arm, who just shakes her off angrily and rounds on Jo.
"I'm not going to calm down!!"
"Then you better back the fuck up, Sasaki." Kirei growls, stepping between them. Rei flinches and stops, allowing Resu to get a grip on her arm.
"What. Happened." Rei seethes. "Why isn't she talking?"
"You gonna chill the fuck out so I can tell you?" Kirei cocks her head at Rei, who relaxes her shoulders slightly.
"Fine, I'm calm. Now tell me." She glances back at Resu, who hesitates before letting go of her arm.
Kirei points back at Jo, who is half leaning and half holding on to Sauria to prevent her from attacking Rei.
"She and Daisuke got jumped, and she saved his ass. End of story."
Resu gasps and brings a hand up to her mouth. "Jumped by who? It wasn't anyone from that other high school was it? With the black uniforms?"
"Yeah, actually. How did you know?" Kirei crosses her arms, caught off-guard.
"Well it's kind of been happening a lot, hasn't it? And I heard they were harassing our cheerleaders at the last basketball game
And a few people have seen them hanging around outside our campus. It's kind of creepy."
Rei scowls and interrupts before Kirei can reply. "I don't give a fuck about that. Why isn't Jo talking?"
This time Sauria speaks up, pulling away from Jo. "Because she's hurt! Are you blind?" Jo looks away and rubs her neck sheepishly, drawing Rei's attention to the bruises there. She glares back at Sauria.
"Don't talk to me like that! Obviously she's hurt!"
"Then why did you shove her? What kind of friend does that?" Sauria hisses, stepping closer to Rei.
"Guys, come on
" Resu giggles nervously. "We shouldn't be fighting
She's completely ignored by the two. Rei takes another step forward, still in the midst of her scowling match with Sauria.
Jo nudges Kirei, urging her to intervene. Rei has no idea Sauria is sick, and that one shove can send her to the hospital.
"C'mon assholes, that's enough!" Kirei warns, and grabs the back of Sauria's shirt in the process. On that cue, Resu reaches for Rei again, and gets a grip on her shoulders.
Rei turns and tries to wrench out of her grip. "I-"
"Excuse me, ladies." A calm voice stops them all in their tracks, and they look over to see the purple-haired government teacher standing behind Resu, hands in his pockets.
"Good morning Shihoin Sensei
" They all say, almost in unison, save Jo, who just waves awkwardly. He just glances over them with a stern expression.
"As scintillating as this conversation no doubt is, I believe the bell rang five minutes ago. And unlike myself, I imagine you all have a first-period class to get to."
Resu smiles and nods. "Right, of course Sensei, we were just leaving
" She practically shoves Rei towards the door, who only braces herself long enough to hiss,
"This conversation isn't over!"
Sauria rubs her face and sighs. "Sorry about that, Sensei
it won't happen again
" He just shrugs.
"Just get going." They all nod and sheepishly turn for the doors, following in Resu and Rei's wake.
Daisuke's morning is not much better than the girls. He makes it to his first-period early, and sighs in relief to find the classroom empty. He sits in the back of the class, happy to be away from all the annoying gossip and staring, especially with the major headache from his concussion. He was glad, at least, that his reputation couldn't get any lower.
Daisuke pulls out his notebook and starts doodling aimlessly to entertain himself. He's in the middle of putting nipples on the boobs he's drawn when the sounds of more students entering the class make him jump and hastily flip the notebook over. The first person to enter is Claire Hayakawa, who he only knows as the 'obsessed with money' girl. She stiffens when she spots him and spins around to whisper something to the girl behind her, and they both look back at him before taking their seats. The second girl, the unmistakably brightly-colored Saru Kenmei Ni, flicks a lock of her bubblegum-pink hair behind her ear and leans over to continue her hushed chat with Claire. Daisuke hears the words 'delinquent' and 'bully' before he decides to shut them out.
He is still scowling at the back of their heads when someone takes the seat next to him. He turns to see the weird blonde kid who never wears shoes inspecting the bruises on his face. Matthew Chimitara Suraisa freaked Dai out just a bit.
Can I help you?" Daisuke raises an eyebrow and fidgets under the scrutiny.
Matthew sighs and points to Daisuke's bruises. "Did that happen in the locker room this morning?" He rubs his chin thoughtfully. "I knew I should have secured that bucket better
"Dude, what are you talking about? What bucket?"
"Oh!" Matthew smiles at him. "Just a little prank for the basketball team. I guess you weren't there then?"
Daisuke stares at him. "I got no idea what you're talking about." He pauses for a moment, looking Matthew over. "Oh, wait! You're the one that's always pulling shit on people?"
Matthew grins and nods. "I thought everyone knew! But yep, that's me."
"Sorry, guess I don't like to get involved too much here. I don't live on campus either so
" He shrugs and looks back down at his notebook.
"But hey, my friend, what really happened? That's a nasty looking bruise." Daisuke looked back up at Matthew, who was smiling at him. What a weird kid.
I got jumped yesterday. Not a big deal."
Daisuke tries to think of a way to end the conversation when he notices another boy, the exchange student Nathan Power, looking at him curiously. He looks like he's about to ask for more details when the bell rings.
Daisuke sighs in relief for the distraction and flips to his current notes. He can't help but notice Nathan giving him a curious look a minute longer before turning back around in his desk.
Daisuke finds that, between the headache and the weird attention he had gotten, he couldn't focus on the lesson. He gives up trying and goes back to drawing boobs, wondering how Jo is holding up.
It's going to be a long day.