There wasn't a THING about college that was EASY...but no could say he hated a CHALLENGE... There were PLENTY of things in Tokyo University that he rather LIKED. But the driving distance was not ONE of them. Green eyes looked back to his watch, grimacing. He wasn't going to make it. Not only did he have to find a place to park, it also had to be in the right section and in front of the right BUILDING. This wasn't his day... Taking more of the reigns of his family business WASN'T good for school. No matter HOW many times he tried to talk to his sister to take more of the responsibilities, Sayoko always told him it was HIS turn, since she had them long enough.

Twenty minutes later, KNOWING he was late for class, he grabbed the backpack with a sigh and hurried up the lot. Second year of college and ALREADY he had bad attendance! This was NOT a good habit to get into... Stopping only enough to push the glass doors open, Cye Mouri skirted past a few students walking through the atrium and continued to jog down the wide halls. The place was huge and he just prayed he wouldn't get stopped and chastised for running.

Skidding to a stop on the carpeted area of the English hall, Cye took a few breaths to calm his heart down and gripped his bag tighter. His face was already flaming, just knowing he was going to interrupt class. He hesitated just outside view of the window to the closed door. It was rude and he HATED to interrupt...but he wouldn't get to CLASS that way. With a deep breath, his hand shot out and turned the knob, pushing the door open.

He wallowed in his embarrassment and quietly walked in, having interrupted what looked like a guest lecturer. His eyes shot to the floor, finding a few of his classmates watching him. Clenching his jaw in apprehension, Cye slowly unzipped his pack and took out his English Lit book and notebook. Only when they set on the desk did a female voice assault his ears. He finally looked up, blinking at the new girl behind the podium he saw. She didn't LOOK like a lecturer... He didn't see HER in class before... His eyes curiously narrowed. Was she a new transfer? As she continued on, speaking in an even voice that rarely changed, Cye remembered something crucial. They were reading their BOOK REPORTS today!! As quietly as possible, his hands snuck back into his backpack, going for the English folder he kept there. Once again, that even voice halted. He looked up to find her eyes on him, along with a few of his classmates. His face flamed red and his eyes lowered. "Gomen nasai..." He muttered, putting his hands in his lap. Sorry... But how did she HEAR him?? He entered in the back of the room! Course...it WAS pretty quiet in here...

The unknown went back to her book report, and Cye had to wait until she finished until he could finish retrieving HIS. He breathed a sigh of relief upon finding it THERE. He forgot all ABOUT this and thought it was NEXT week. Quietly, he flipped through the few pages, scanning the words to look over what he wrote. It'd been done for a few days, but his mind was on the family business and his Biology classes rather than English. It was a required class and he couldn't stuff it in his first year, so this was it. It wasn't as if Cye HATED English Lit...but there was ALWAYS something better to take instead of this.

As he waited for the person to finish up, his eyes snuck a peek to the back of long, pitch black hair. His eyes narrowed, wondering why she transferred in the middle of the semester. He'd never SEEN her in here before... What was she doing?? As he watched, her head turned, as if she knew someone was watching her. It turned enough so he could see part of her eyes. Quickly, his gaze averted before she spotted exactly WHO was watching her. Giving it a short minute, ears tinged red, he snuck a peek to find her gaze back up front. With a mental sigh, Cye went back to his report, going over it to not be so nervous in front of his fellow classmates.

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After English finished and everyone shuffled out, Cye noticed the unnamed girl was still sitting in the seat. His brows furrowed in confusion, wondering what was going on. But he shrugged it off when the teacher walked up and sat down, starting a hushed conversation. He stood and followed the others out, since she was obviously staying after. As Cye headed out of the segregated hallway to the main and cut to his favorite section, the Biology wing, his mind forgot all about the raven-haired girl.

A smile lit his face as he strolled past the open doors, breathing in the atmosphere. A smirk replaced the smile, knowing you couldn't REALLY smell the Biology wing, since the doors were opened for easier navigation of masses of students, but he just felt there was something indefinable whenever he passed those doors. It was like walking into a world of knowledge he couldn't WAIT to soak up. He opened the doors to his favorite topic, Marine Biology, and took his assigned seat. With a few pleasant nods to those he knew, Cye grabbed his books and notebook, preparing for another invigorating lecture. He dug in for a pencil and eraser, bidding the aged teacher welcome with everyone else.

Biology, especially MARINE biology, was ALWAYS a favorite topic of Cye's due to his love of the sea and his kanji. Ever since he was a kid, he lived by water, trying to be in it as much as possible. His sister always called him a fish when he was a kid. And so did the GUYS. He smirked and looked to his notebook, copying down information to be studied later. Ahh...his friends. He wondered what they were doing right now... Cye assumed Rowen would be in one of his classes across campus, since they both went to the same college. Ryo managed to as well, but it was harder with his job. Though his father left plenty of money before he died, Ryo still managed to work nearly full time now AND go for his biology major. Growing up in nature, owning White Blaze, and working in a zoo highly influenced the once bearer of Wildfire.

Kento, Cye assumed, would either be getting up right about now or already on his way to help his mother in their restaurant. Though Kento had AMBITIONS for college and took a few of the required courses, he mentioned that he'd rather stay in the kitchen and cook to learn more. Like Cye, Kento most likely intended on being the one to inherit their family business. If that was the case, he should take a few ACCOUNTING classes here to boost his know-how of the way a business was RUN! Cye looked to his watch and mentally sighed. Twenty to ten, just twenty minutes left to his half hour break till his next class...

Cye propped his head up and gave himself a quick break from copying notes, thinking of the last of their group. Sage Date, the mystery of the Ronin Warriors and most quiet. Though the group had been together for over four years since the war ended, Cye STILL didn't know that much about Sage. It wasn't like they didn't get ALONG...but he didn't know all of what his friend liked and didn't like. Cye smirked again and went back to copying notes. But if he knew Sage at ALL, he knew the blonde would be finishing up his meditation or helping his grandfather in the dojo. That, or setting up classes to teach here in the college. Ever since high school ended, his grandfather had been pressing Sage to continue his training to enter another Kendo tournament. It was stressing to his friend, but something Sage enjoyed, so Cye didn't try to talk to him about any kind of major in college. He knew Sage would find something when he wanted to. For now, he was content to continue his training.

Green jerked to the clock when the teacher shut the overhead off and said his goodbyes. Cye blinked. Where had the TIME gone?? He looked to his notes, finding them all copied, but just passing the time by keeping his mind busy. His lips pressed together as he mentally chastised himself for not paying attention, not too sure how he managed to copy and still not pay attention. Every class was vital to his ultimate major, and most importantly, each TEST. Tests in college were TEN times as hard than in high school. Here...everything was an EASY hundred questions or more and it took Cye three hours of study time every night.

And he used any extra time he could squeeze in while at college as well. Like the half hour he had till his Chemistry class. After packing everything back into his bag, Cye left one of his beloved classes and headed for the café right outside the Biology wing. ANOTHER reason he liked the wing, he never had to walk far to get something to eat. And by eleven, having to get up at six every morning for breakfast and the drive, he was famished. He quickly went through the line and pulled a few tasty-looking items, paying with his student credit card. It was a little sophisticated; a person put however many yen on the plastic card one was given to keep before starting their semester and swiped the card, then put their thumb print on a pad for identification. It saved many from having to deal with change and getting robbed for those late night class takers.

After securing a table for himself near the windows of the sunny morning, every book he needed to review today was pulled out, along with notebooks and folders. Three books stacked, two notebooks, and four folders. Along with his food and bag, Cye filled up the moderately-sized square table. He slid one of the chairs over with a foot and propped his legs on it for a stool, opening the first book to get to work.

Maybe ten minutes into reading, he was taken away from a voice calling his name. He lazily broke away and smiled upon finding Rowen dodging tables, heading in his direction. He nodded from the greeting wave he received and started to put his books away to make room. And chances were, Rowen and he would talk the rest of his free time. "How's it going Ro?" He greeted.

Rowen plopped into the chair and dropped his bag on the floor with a sigh. "Astronomy has WAY too much homework..." He groaned, rubbing his eyes.

Cye grinned. "You've got it as bad as Ryo and I do. Stop complaining." He pleasantly retorted, grabbing the apple off the table. He momentarily scowled when Rowen grabbed the egg sandwich off the plate, but shrugged and dug into the smaller pouch to his bag. "Here," He muttered, taking a bit of the apple, "Ryo wanted to say thanks for the Trig notes." He grinned. "As do I. Who KNEW taking high school Trig helped in COLLEGE too?" They both chuckled and sat back, happy for this small break. College was hectic it was true, and it was even HARDER to for their group. Cye thought back and figured the last time any had been able to see OR talk to each other, all five together in once place, was at Mia's two weeks ago. Even though they held busy lives, they still retained those once-a-month visits. If not, Cye KNEW he'd feel boggled down in NO time.

Before Cye knew it, his half hour was up. He hurriedly collected the trash to be thrown away and stood. "So...am I giving you a ride back home today?" He queried, shouldering his bag. Ever since high school ended and the two found they were going to the same college, taking the same long hours together, Cye felt obligated as a friend to offer his friend a ride home. It wasn't like it was THAT far away, and it gave time for the two to see each other. Even though they got along so-so, they were still friends and fellow ex-warriors. Time spent together was time spent any way they could find.

Rowen looked up from a study-guide book he needed for Trig2 and met Cye's eyes. "I get off of class at three. Will you still BE here by then??"

Cye blinked. "I've got classes till two thirty...I can get some extra study time in while I wait." Rowen nodded and they agreed to meet here where they normally did to go home. That taken care of, Cye wound around the tables to his Chemistry class, glad it was in the same wing he just left half an hour ago.

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It turned out his last class let out ten extra minutes, which was fine with Cye. He needed to get as much study time in as possible before going back home and getting dinner started. The drive would take a little bit, so there would be NO way to get anything done when he arrived home.

Sitting at the same table as before, knowing he'd be spotted in the less busy café, Cye pulled everything out and got back to work. The place was quiet as a mouse right now, with many people still in classes for a few more minutes. The café closed in three hours, but barely anyone was around. That suited HIM just fine...he did better when he could actually ABSORB the things he read. Silence was golden, as the quote said.

And that made everything magnify in the silence. Flipping a page, green eyes narrowed when a soft tapping sounded. He looked up, but didn't hear anything. With a shrug, clearing his mind except for marine biology, he went back and continued on. Except the tapping continued. It was almost continuous in a way...and steadily growing louder. Whoever was doing it was coming closer. Cye looked up, a little irritated at the noise, and blinked in astonishment at the scene before him. Setting her bag down on a table closest to the hallway was the same girl from his English class this morning. But what astounded him the most was she folded up a plastic looking-walking stick before sitting down. He curiously watched, forgetting all about studying, as he set on studying her. That long hair of hers was loose around her back, going nearly to her waist. Idly, a slim hand put a chunk behind her ear as she started digging into her bag.

Cye propped his head up on the table with his arms and watched, seeing as how this unknown was more interesting than his schoolwork. His eyes needed a break ANYWAY... And something about her intrigued him, though he couldn't put his finger on it. There was something in her way of moving that was fluid, but as though it was practiced. He wondered what it was... A brow furrowed as he watched her pull out an expensive-looking laptop. As she booted it up, her other hand ran across a page of her textbook, eyes looking to it. Then, those slim hands almost expertly positioned themselves on the keyboard and started typing.

His brow rose. She used a LAPTOP for her HOMEWORK?? How odd...yet extremely rich-kidish. He watched as she continuously ran a hand over the thick novel-looking textbook, pausing as if to think of a way to paraphrase her words, and then type what she wanted down. After typing for a minute or so, she suddenly dug into the bag, bringing a pair of ear bud headphones and put one in. Her mystery heightened with every action she did. Her hands moved to the keyboard again, but paused and jerked back as her body stilled. Her head moved, turning to one side. She was listening for something? He quickly picked up a notebook to hide his face, and his burning ears at being caught spying, but sure to see over it. Her face was almost turned his way, but she didn't show any hint of recognition that he was in the room. He cast an odd, wondering look behind his notebook. What the?...

"Hey Cye!"

He startled and shot the notebook to the table, finding Rowen heading toward him. Was it three thirty ALREADY?? Green looked to the clock on the other side of the room, giving it a small, amazed look. Rowen slowed his walk as he passed the only other occupant in the lunchroom, giving her a pleasant grin. Her face remained impassive, as if she hadn't seen, and went back to typing on her laptop. Giving the girl a raised brow, but shaking it off, Rowen stopped near the table and met green. "Ready to leave for the day?"

Cye grabbed the bag and stood, giving a nod. His eyes snuck a peek to the girl across the way, finding her face attuned to that flat screen. She was typing almost rapidly, though it looked like she was trying TOO hard to look nonchalant and busy. Shaking his head, digging in his windbreaker for his car keys, Cye headed for the main hallway. As the two passed, Cye's eyes snuck a final peek to the raven-haired girl. His brow furrowed in confusion upon looking at the open book her hand skimmed over earlier. He couldn't read a WORD of it...because it was all in symbols. Just what class was she TAKING?? His arm suddenly jerked to one side as Rowen pulled him faster. Cye blinked and hurried his step to keep in tune with Rowen's. He didn't know he slowed down...

Unlocking the car, both got in and threw their bags in the back. "Rowen...did something about that girl seem a little OFF to you?" Cye queried, backing out of the spot.

Rowen looked to the driver as he stretched in his seat. "You mean the one in the lunchroom with you?"

"Hai."

Blue gravitated to the passing scenery of the mid-afternoon day. "Trust me Cye...I learned from opening my mouth in HIGH school about judging a person without knowing the full story first. I'm not saying a WORD."

Cye smirked and headed for the main highway out of Tokyo. Yes...Rowen DID learn a lesson that day... As the car's speed picked up, Cye wondered how their good friend was doing. Sage was still waiting for her latest postage, but it would be another week or so. His mind switched girls as the drive possessed, slowly blanking when Rowen turned the radio on in the quiet.

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The typing continued well past the four o'clock hour and even into five. She still sat there in the same spot, as classes came and went. That was good, because the students around here were so NOISY... The rush of students slowed down after four, since most ended at that time. Night classes wouldn't start until six, but if she was lucky, she'd be GONE by then... It was always wise to get her homework done HERE, while she still COULD. Afterwards, she'd be lucky to have time to THINK.

The only good thing about having such a wonderful nose, she could smell her ride home and the companion brought with him. A true smile made its way across her face, though small. She didn't smile anymore, since she found little use for it. So what was the point? Hands saved the documents she was working on, with a little help from the ear bud still in its spot. Afterwards, she closed the laptop down and started putting everything back exactly where it was before.

"Are you STILL working on your homework??" Came that all too familiar voice. She looked to its direction before casting her head back to the task at hand. He sounded more exhausted than normal tonight...

"I thought it best to sit and wait for you here, instead of you bringing Beethoven-kun through the halls." She quietly answered, slowly standing. After shouldering the bag, a lump bumped against her leg. A little larger smile appeared as her face cast down. A hand reached down and was soon wetted with a lick from her canine companion.

"Do you want me to take your bag?"

She looked to the voice, wondering why he was being so NICE. She KNEW he had a long day of work, and all he wanted to do now was sit in his recliner instead of picking her up. But he would have to deal. She wasn't going to get into it here, after so many years of this. Lord knew they'd done enough arguing in the PAST about it... "I should be okay. As long as I hold on to one strap." She answered, a hand doing as she said. It gripped the bag, her other hand easily seeking out the halter from her friend. Slim fingers gripped the odd plastic contraption, feeling Beethoven sit and wait for her commands. The echoing steps of his sneakers, her loafers following, and the click of twenty doggy nails soon met her ears as she used the sound to help direct her out of the college.

Once outside, the smells of the world hit her nose, both pleasant and bad. She breathed it all in, feeling the sun on her face. She belonged outside, even if the weather was getting colder. Winter would be another severe one this year... She could just tell by the way the temperature bit at her skin. Perhaps they'd manage to have SNOW this year... They didn't get a single flake, so she was told. It rarely snowed anymore it seemed, unlike when she was a child. That, and she was inside too much to be able to have any fun. But inside was safe...and BORING.

Her attention diverted to the pull on the leash and those sneakers started walking away. She started after the noise, letting Beethoven direct her, as he had ever since she was ten.