Momo- Allo everyone! XD Alright, this fanfic is totally inspired by the AU NaruHina fanfic "Lolita Girl", by Lovelyanime-san. And she has graciously allowed my to write my own AU NaruHina Lolita Love Story, with all of the Harajuku and Japan popculture goodiness! XD The concept is the same as her fanfic, but not to worry, it's all different as far as plot goes. So there. ..no copyright issues, lol. :D
Please enjoy and leave reviews. Arigato.
HARAJUKU RUULZ! ALL HAIL THE THRIVING CATWALK! XDDD
This Chapter has Been Rewritten
EDIT: ALSO I BEGAN WRITING THIS STORY AS A TENTH GRADER, SO PLEASE DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SPORADIC USE OF JAPANESE WORD AND PHRASES IN THE FIRST DOZEN CHAPTERS.
I was young and having fun with what I was learning, and it seemed like a good idea back then because Japanese slang and such don't always retain the same meaning in English. I have, since summer of 2008, completely stopped with 'Engrish' as I know now it doesn't make any sense. (It's only alright to use Japanese words for nouns, as in: Places, People and Things. Getabako is totally valid. I could say shoe cupboard, but the technical term is still Getabako.)
So again, PLEASE DON'T POINT OUT THE GEEKY MISUSE OF JAPANESE PHRASES IN DIALOGUE. I WROTE THIS FOUR YEARS AGO, AND I'M TOO LAZY TO GO AND FIX IT NOW. (maybe someday I will, but as for now, this fic is a record of my progression as an amateur writer.)
(Warning: This story has a CRAPLOAD of OC's. I accidently created them because I didn't want to make any canon characters take on OOC roles, and now I can't get rid of them. The OC's I mean. Can't get rid of them, lololol. -shot-)
Scratch the Surface
Ch.1 - Goodbye, My Safe and Selfish Former Life
"Where do you run away to?"
The bell hanging from the head jamb of the doorway, rang as the door opened, the wind from outside carressing the bright pink and white ribbons, carrying the smell of the city into the store.
The young cashier at the front counter turned with a warm greeting, her bland black eyes eager, and polite, and her smile immaculate.
"Welcome back." She said with a cheery wave of the hand, her simple brown hair held high on top of her head in a messy bun, strands falling on the sides of her somewhat darker cheeks. It was assumed that she recieved a lot of sunlight, unlike the girl who had entered.
The question still remained in the young girl's reddish-brown eyes, annoyance soon taking seat in her demeanor.
The younger girl beside her merely smiled, shy and hesitant as always.
"I don't know where.." She answered with a tiny smile. Her friend sighed annoyedly.
She was pale, her skin almost milky white. Long black, nearly bluish hair flowed from her head like ribbons of water, her bangs stopping just above her brow. Her eyes were pale too.
"You bush beater!" She exclaimed belligerently, though half-heartedly, pinning a glare on her small friend.
"Oh gawd, that sounds so wrong!" Another voice said, a boy's voice, clearly sounding embarrassed as he hung his head, and hid his face in his hands.
A smile slowly bloomed onto her lips, the further she walked through the store. Lolita clothing, accessories and merchandise cluttered the walls and the shelves in an array of white, pink and baby blues; The floral and candy prints called out to her, their innocent allure pulling her by the wrists.
Handbags that resembled eclairs and strawberry shortcakes.
Jumper dresses in bold and solid colors.
Linen pinafores with frilly edging.
Skirts with tiers, with panniers and hoops.
Although this was a specialty shop, practically everything here were plain and cheap knock-offs. Some items were taken from overseas rather than made by real Japanese Lolita brand designers. But the DIY aspect of the shop appealed to her to most, and it was the most affordable Lolita shop in Tokyo.
"So where do you go?" She asked once more as soon as the air of nonsense had passed. She had been trying to create a deep connection the whole hour. They hardly ever got to see eachother, and everytime they did, a schreechy phonecall by someone's parents always cut their time short.
The young girl with cropped bluish-black hair paused, her tiny hand held pensively by her lips. In that moment, she caught a glimpse of her sanctuary.
It came so easy to her, to fall into daydreams, to find relief in the otherworldly sweetness of fantasies.
She lived in tunnelvision for the most part of her life. Falling into her daydreams was like falling through a rabbit hole.
Except there was no white rabbit.
There was nothing for her to chase, because she had everything that she wanted.
Or maybe she just wasn't looking.
She knew what she wanted today, it was all she could afford until December, when she went to her temp job. She picked up the latest issue of Gothic&Lolita Bible, with Jui of Vidoll posing on the front, the dark elegance of his pale blue eyes emanating from the cover, his lips set in an almost sensual frown.
She could never get into Gothic nor Visual-Kei however, for she was a sweet lolita, who followed in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette and Kana.
"I g-go.." She started out quietly at first, unsure with herself, with her answer.
The girl held the photomook close to her chest, as if her soul was chained to it.
Her love for the lifestyle was inextricable with herself and at times.. hard to explain.
It was simply her escape.
"I go the same place as you guys..." She finally answered with a naive and gracious smile, but the hurt could still be seen in her pale eyes.
One station north of Shibuya, and one station southwest of Shinjuku.
Disected into four parts by two streets: Omotesando, which runs east-west through Harajuku. And Meiji-dori, which runs north-south through Harajuku.
The intersection of these two roads is a constant current of pedestrians and vehicles.
The Laforet shopping complex sits along the northwest sector of Harajuku. Aside from the Takeshita Street, the Laforet is the most well known piece of infrastructure in Harajuku. So many of the trend-dependent Shibuyan females go there.
As for me...
"Emiri-chan, where's your parasol?" spoke a demure voice, worry evident.
The girl spoken to looked up to meet beautiful black eyes, peering curiously into her; she was dressed in a bright red, gold and cream Wa-Loli outfit. That was Sabelle's way.
It took a couples minutes for her to wake up. She had been spaced out into a daydream again, absorbing the lively atmosphere of the cosplay bridge.
..I think this is the best part of Harajuku.
"G-gomen.." The pale-eyed girl mumbled meekly. "I lent it to Mei-chan. Her parasol broke when she was waiting for the commuter train." She explained sheepishly. The older Wa-Lolita's perfectly shaped eyebrows knitted together, a question in her eyes and on her tongue.
"How did that happen?"
"She said just as the train was pulling in, her parasol ripped from her hands and got pulled under the train. Poor thing.. She wanted so much to get noticed by that young photographer." The pale-eyed girl explained with a sympathetic smile.
"Emiri-chan, you shouldn't have done that!" Cried another voice irritably, as a tall and wiry lolita stomped into view, her fake blue eyes pinned lividly on her pale ones.
"LaBelle-san..?" The girl nearly stuttered in her confusion. She had worked so hard not to stutter anymore, it wasn't very Lolita-like.
"I'm the one who bought that for you! So that way you stand out for once! ..High school is almost over, and we're all nearly too old to be lolita now!" She scolded fiercely, as her twin sister stood beside with a calm but bemused glance. LaBelle was frightening their little Emiri-chan, with her zeal. The pale-eyed girl didn't quite understand what she was getting so worked up over.
'Too old? I'm not too old.. I can still be lolita, I'm eternally sixteen!' She thought to herself, rather ignorantly.
"KERA photographers are here. I set today up with a photographer who's friends with a friend with a friend who knows a guy who works for Shoichi Aoki! What is he going to think when he sees you?" The wiry blonde continued to rant, her almost stage-mother nature showing through her elegant appearance.
The thing about LaBelle was that she was a blood-type O, a Leo, and a wannabe model. She loved the lolita fashion with all her being, but loved brand names more. Most of the time she would copy an entire outfit from the magazines and mooks, seemingly unable to come up with an original outfit herself. She was practically a walking advertisement. She earnestly strived to for the attention of agents and photographers, wanting more than anything to be featured in at least one column of G&L Bible. She found it unfair that a gravure model got to pose on a cover.
"They call this G&L Bible! Having this bikini bitch on the cover like this? It's blasphemy!"
She was unlike most soft and sweet lolita here, for what she lacked in creativity, she more than made-up for in a 'loud-and-proud' personality.
Sabelle, however, was different altogether. Though they identical twins -Sabelle being older by 20 minutes-, she dressed in the ways of the Wa-Loli. She had a natural sense of fashion, much like her own sister, but was creative and made her own outfits, much like a true Harajuku-ist. She was natural and a traditionalist. She never dyed her hair nor wore colored contacts. Though she too loved lolita lifestyle, she did not harbour a Rococo spirit for she felt it was too hedonistic. She loved traditional Japan, and expressed her love of heritage in her Wa-Loli style.
"Are you listening, girl?" LaBelle irritably snapped again, her temper getting the best of her. She often got this way whenever she set uneccessarily lofty expections.
"Would you chillax or something, Queen of all B's?" Came a more friendly and hyperactive voice. "I'm starting to doubt that this is a 'mode' for you... I swear, you're always like this." She said, her reddish-brown eyes sitting coolly on the taller girl before her. She smiled warmly at the pale-eyed girl and gave her an assuring wink, her energetic grin smoothing out her troubles, like she so often had done.
She knew that their 'Emiri-chan' was getting nervous.
LaBelle scoffed irritably as she crossed her arms across her chest, unable to get over her needs at the moment. If she wasn't in total "B-mode", than she was in total "Sel-mode"..
"Mad selfish." The girl muttered under her breath.
"I hope you two don't fight." Moaned a young boy wearily. This kind of thing always happened. And everytime he hoped it wouldn't, but there was never a way around it.
"So what's going on with you and Atsushi? Anything?" The reddish-brown eyed girl asked, recieving a less-than-happy response.
"Don't make me cry, you jerk!" The boy accused aggravatedly, as he hung his head in mopish shame.
The girl with the pale-eyes giggled quietly to herself. Her group was always so amusing.
It's been years since I started going here.
I've never taken the time to think about too many things.
I've always had Sundays on my mind, and I can never have enough..
In this masquerade of bored and rebellious teens, we do not know one another's names, and yet bonds form almost instantly.
It's a congregation of kindred spirits, who all share the same destiny.
The destiny of mundanity.
But I refuse to give in.
I don't care if my body ages.
The spirit of a Lolita is forever.
Long as I am a Lolita, I don't need anything else.
I mean... it's the only thing that keeps me happy..
"Kyaa!" Hinata shrieked breathlessly. She was sitting by the kotatsu, studying, with her legs under the futon.
Her father had been the one that called her, his voice harsh and demanding as always.
"Yes, papa?" She called sweetly, as she turned around to face him.
This was her home mask, her tatemae so to speak: the sweetly indifferent face of an obedient and loving daughter. She lived in an old-fashioned household, held by out-of-date ideals. Her father was -like any other parent who cared too much or didn't have a life of their own- strict and relatively controlling.
He gave her a curfew.
He had her cook the dinner, do the chores and not to mention.. She had to study, study, study.
She did well to keep up with the day-to-day demands, never complaining, never breaking a sweat. Always grinning and bearing it.
Even though portrayed as the perfect daughter, and made it top of her class, she was never perfect in her father's eyes. It was something she couldn't understand, but had become accustomed to it. She never looked for his approval nor acknowledgment, but merely did as she was told without question. At one point she had come to the conclusion that he didn't want her to slip up, or perhaps he expected her to be like Neji. She wasn't sure which, but it didn't help make the house feel any less empty.
He was emotionally distant. This much was clear.
"Stop using the kotatsu's heat." Was his stern command as he continued looking through the bills and paperwork.
"But papa, it's winter." She softly countered, only to meet another cold response.
"Then put on a sweater and sock. We are not using any more charcoal."
"Hai, Otou-san." She said curtly in her sweet and soft voice, as she pulled the sweater and socks she kept hidden under the kotatsu and put them on, warming her instantly. She turned back to her math.
This last question was hard.
As she drummed the eraser tip of the pencil lightly against her lips, her cousin Neji came from the hallway to sit across from her, a large and advanced book in hand. He always had such a pensive look on his face, detached and curt.
He hardly smiled.
Hinata began to stare at him thoughtfully.
She remembered when he first came to live with them. He was four, and she was three. Her father had dropped her off at her uncle and aunt's to be babysat, while he went to Yokohama for a business trip. Her and Neji were real close then, almost thought they were brother and sister, the concept of cousins not quite being understood yet.
Later that night, there had been fervored knocking at their door. The loud repeatitions soon erupted into banging.
Hizashi and Hiyume rushed to the door, but hesitated to answer. They talked amongst eachother in hushed voices, panic written on their faces. She and Neji crept out of bed to see what was going on, they hid behind the living room couch.
"N-Neji-n-nii? Wh-what's g-going on?"
"Don't be scared Imouto-chan." He assured her calmly.
"I-I'm n-n-not.." She weakly replied, voice wavery.
'It still seems unbelievable.. that it happened..'
They had tried shouting through the door, asking questions or willing the aggressor to leave.
"Hiashi! Give me Hiashi!" Came the schreechy cry. It was a woman, the voice belonged to a woman. Hinata could feel her little heart pound wildly in her chest, her face flushed with fear. Her hands grew cold.
Why did the woman say her father's name?
"Hiashi isn't here!"
"Don't bullshit me! You're in there Hiashi!"
"I'm not, I'm not Hiashi!" Hizashi desperately cried, confusion and worry clouding his head, clutching at his heart like a time-bomb.
"COWARD HIASHI!" The woman schreeched, as the pounding grew erratically louder, more violent.
The door began to creak a little.
Hiashi and Hiyume were alarmed and panicky, they didn't want to cause anymore conflict with this stranger.
But they should have called the police.
They shouldn't have opened the door.
They should have done anything else but open the door.
Why didn't they think it through?
But fear.. it cuts off your every sense of reasoning.
They shouldn't have opened the door.
It was hard to see, like a horror movie covered in shadow, the most crucial part cut out during editing. It happened so fast, that's what they all say, but it was true.
Blood stained the carpet, splattered the door, the walls.. Neji's hands. The woman had stabbed Hizashi several times in the chest. He fell to the floor. Hiyume saw Neji run towards them, tears falling from her eyes, she screamed for him to leave, to go back. Instead she just brought the attention to herself. The seemingly crazed woman grabbed for her long, burgundy hair and dragged her outside. The hallway lights of the apartment complex illuminated her hair, skin, her clothes and the fear in her eyes. It was too much to take. The woman kicked her, pulled at her and threw her down.
She slashed her throat, then spit on her.
Hinata didn't understand why she had continued to stomp on her stomach as she did so..
Ever since then Neji had come to resent Hinata. Because his father died, when it should have been her own, that he began to blame her for what happened. It wasn't until Neji turned thirteen, that Hiashi explained to him why that happened. The woman had been a former lover, jealous that he wouldn't leave his wife for her. It all came together for her as well. The crazed mistress must've known her mother Hinako was pregnant, but she had mistaken Hiyume as her mother, like she had mistaken Hizashi as her father.
She had done all that, out of bitter jealousy.
"Having trouble?" Neji called out, his voice pulling her out from the clouds.
Hinata blinked cluelessly. "Huh?"
"That last question. I can help you." Neji passively offered.
She wasn't sure what to think of him at times, he was hard to read. Hinata nearly smiled. 'Well.. it's all in the past.'
"Neji, don't help her. She needs to figure it out on her own." Hiashi called out in his usual stern drawl.
"I'm just going to lead her through, I'm not going to give her the answers." He explained as he placed his book on the table and moved to sit next to her.
"Alright, see what you need to do is.." Neji started out, his voice fading behind the roar of her thoughts.
Neji had always been smart, a child prodigy. His parents knew it right away. He began to speak, read and write as early as 2 years. Over the years after his parents death, he surrounded himself in studying and found a rapt interest in everyday criminal cases. At one point she thought he wanted to be a prosecutor or work in law, to avenge his parents' wrongful death, prevent similar tragedies to happen to others, that type of thing. But he did not affirm that. If he had any aspirations, they were locked away somewhere in his brain, and she hoped that someday he'd share them with her.
Considering his age, seventeen, he would be a second year in highschool. But being the genius that he is, he had graduated 3 years earlier, just when she herself passed the highschool entrance exams.
"You got all that?" Neji asked, his voice monotonous as ever. She had this spaced out look in her eyes. Hinata looked down at her paper before looking back at eyes.
"Oh.. wait!" Hinata exclaimed in a hushed voice. She snatched the paper from his hands to take another look at it.
To answer him: Did she get it? Yes, she did. But had shen been listening to him? No, she hadn't.
Scrawling as fast she she could, the answers kept coming to her and she hoped that she wasn't guessing.
"Like this? Is this right?" Hinata asked, presenting the paper to him. Neji scanned the answers slowly before nodding his head in approval.
He said nothing else, a bare minimum of a smile on his lips. He got up and ruffled her hair affectionately, before returning to his place across from her and picked up his book.
It took Hinata few seconds to relax, a silent sigh escaping her. She wasn't sure why she got so tense around him sometimes, but she knew he wasn't going to strike her. 'Relax.' She told herself. 'What do you have to be afraid of anymore?'
Hinata smiled weakly, and diverted her eyes from her cousin to her worksheets. They had worked out their problems long ago, they were on better terms now, even if Neji still seemed cold, she knew he cared about her to some degree. Things had gotten better since. At least she was certain they did.
"I wonder where Hanabi-chan is.." Hinata mumbled to herself absentmindedly. She hadn't seen her sister all sunday since she returned and it was getting late. Hinata knew she'd have to make dinner soon.
"Shibuya." Neji whispered under his breath, catching her attention immediately as she glanced up at him.
"Huh?" Hinata mumbled, rather dumbly. Neji pulled his eyes away from his book, his face stiff and almost guarded, but his eyes tried to speak to her.
"Shibuya-ku." He repeated once more, in a stiff and quiet voice, practically mouthing the words to her. His eyes darted briefly to the side to look over her shoulder. Hiashi was engrossed in his business, he hadn't heard what was said, nor gave them much attention. It was for Hanabi's sake that it was kept that way.
Hinata finally understood and returned to her own work, the house becoming deathly silent in an instant.
She knew that Hanabi would return home soon, the risks weren't worth taking when Hiashi was in town.
A slight sadness washed through her, enveloped her like an old and worn quilt, sentimental and somber.
A few hours ago she had been at Harajuku with her friends. Now she wouldn't be able to see them for a whole week. She didn't think she could wait that long, but she always did.
She wondered if Hanabi ever felt that way when it came to her friends.
"Hinata-chan. The salmon." Hiashi said, never taking his eyes off his work. Hinata understood him immediately.
"Hai, papa." She replied, calmly and politely. She put aside her papers, and closed her textbooks. She stood up straight and gracefully held herself up high as she walked into the kitchen.
It had taken her a year to master the mask she wore around the house, until it became a part of her. And she was proud of it.
No more stuttering or slumping, no more crying or hiding her face. She was a proper lady now, the perfect picture of grace. Just like a victorian princess, just like a lolita. And it seemed to please Hiashi, he didn't put her down as often anymore.
What else could she possibly ask for?
"I'm going now!" Hinata called from the genkan.
"Wait, Onee-san!" A younger voice cried, as a small girl with brown hair rushed out. She slipped on her shoes and exited out with Hinata.
They both called out to their house.
The sun greeted the morning from above the treeline and horizon of houses. Cars and school children roamed the suburbs of Shinagawa, as they headed their way to work. The businessmen waved goodbye to their wives and trudged tiredly, wearily or eagerly to the train stations, ready to haul in the long hours and unpaid overtime of work, knowing they wouldn't return home for another three days or whole week at a time.
Hinata glanced off to the side, as thoughtfulness clouded her mind again.
Hanabi was so short and tiny.
Though they were sisters, Hinata always felt Hanabi resembled Neji most, what with her long brown hair and warm skin color. They got their looks from their fathers. Sometimes she felt like she was different than her family, unrelated because she looked nothing like them. But maybe that was alright...
"You were so worried, but your weren't going to be late. It's nice to be in Junior High, you don't have to worry about what shoes or clothes to wear." Hinata stated with a slight smile, but somehow she wondered if she was lying, because there's always more to worry about than clothes or what to wear or how to look.
To have called Junior High "nice" left a funny aftertaste in her mouth. But then again, perhaps fro Hanabi Junior High might be nice. She was going to a better middle school than she ever had.
o have called Junior High "nice" left a funny aftertaste in her mouth. But then again, perhaps fro Hanabi Junior High might be nice. She was going to a better middle school than she ever had.
Hanabi glanced down her shoes, then looked at Hinata's.
"I kinna miss it though.." She replied in her small voice. "Wish I had cute shoes to wear at school. I bet yours are cute." Hanabi complained, sounding much like the child she still was.
"They're pretty standard to me, Imouto-chan." Hinata replied back, as she thought about the indoor shoes she had to wear at her high school. They were just simple black leather mary-janes.
"Well whatever.. I'm going to try to be a smartass like Neji-itoko, so I can skip the baby grades and graduate early!" Hanabi spoke mischeviously with a grin, as she peered her round eyes up at her sister. It wasn't until then that Hinata noticed the light make-up and lip-gloss. And she finally realized the overdone barrage of cute hairclips that adorned her head.
Hinata slowly reached out to touch, before deliberately ruffling her sister's hair.
"Hey! Hey, stop, no! I just worked hard on my hair! Oneeee-chaaan!" She whined, and smacked her sister's hand away with a huff.
"Why?" Hinata asked curiously, aghast and surprised. She wondered.. Hanabi had never tried anything with her looks before, far as she knew. So what motivated her now? She hoped that she wouldn't start dyeing her hair, that would just kill her.
"No.. reason.." Hanabi trailed off weakly, digging her toes in a bit as she walked. Hinata knew better. She saw the stubborn blush painted across her face before she let her brown hair hide it.
"Alright, you don't have to tell me. I'll figure it out someday." Hinata started out, with a hint of suspense in her voice.
"No you won't." Hanabi firmly replied.
"Yes, I will. I'll even enlist Neji-nii's help. There's no way he'll stick up for you." She smirked when she knew she had pushed the right button.
"No! Not unless I get to him first!"
"The secret's too great! He'll probably double cross you!" Hinata laughed.
"No! No, I won't let that happen!" Hanabi shouted, hands fisted under her chin. Hinata smiled. They were already at the middle school's entrance and Hanabi had't noticed.
"We're here.." Hinata announced in soft sing-song, their time for teasing over.
"Huh?" Hanabi looked over and saw the opened gate. Most of her classmates were congregated outside, in the courtyard. "Okay, later Onee-san!" Hanabi called over her shoulder and she moved to head inside. Hinata reached out for her shoulder and pulled her back, stopping her. Hanabi gave her a confused look, curious and wondering what Hinata was doing digging through her school bag.
"Just a second, Hanabi-chan.." Hinata said as she pulled out a fancy looking hairbrush. She removed the several stylishly cute hair clips, ignoring Hanabi's whining, as she began to brush softly. She parted her hair, and held each side with one strawberry clip, as she put the rest in her school bag.
"There, much better." She smiled sweetly.
"Thanks a lot, mums." Hanabi said sarcastically, clapping her palm half-heartedly against Hinata's cheek in a joking manner.
"I'll get you for that." Hinata pinched Hanabi's nose until she began to turn a little red. "But I won't tell you when." She winked.
"Bye Onee-san." Hanabi said annoyedly in a nasally tone, her nose still held hostage by Hinata's slender fingers.
"Bye Hana-bunni." Hinata waved as she took off for her own school.
Five years apart. Hanabi was always the more clever and reliable one. The favorite daughter. Hinata figured Hanabi must've gotten her tiny-ness from being born a month early. The pregnancy had made her mother very sick, and the complications were too much for her to handle. After 32 hours of labor, Hanabi had been born through their mother's death, like a phoenix or something.
She remember how dry her father's face had been, how rather than mourn, he seemed to glow with pride at the sight of his new daughter. Over the years, that glow died, much like it did with her.
Hinata wasn't sure if Hiashi was a complicated man or a fickle one. But he never seemed to stay happy with something for too long. He never seemed happy actually.
She stopped by a streelight, the way to Matsushita Normal High School was a long one, and so the reason why she would leave very early in the morning. Dressed in a dark-grey blazer, classic red plaid skirt, black knee-highs and white dress shirt, with her red school tie neatly done, Hinata stood amongst the fray of bodies.
Tokyo was an ocean.
And society was an inescapable school, where everyone looked alike, moved with the crowd from one place to another, the same routine everyday, as the sharks of the darwinistic hierarchy ate the tuna alive.
But she liked to think herself above the rest, because she refused to follow the crowd.
The light turned, and the current began to flow. She had no choice but to live on routine, to move with the crowd. Perhaps she was a hyprocrite, or perhaps she lied to herself. But they were lies that made her happy. She hated to think that she was born without meaning, that she was meant to serve and maintain her country's economy, or some boring bullshit like that. She hated to think that she was doomed for nothing more than the ordinary.
It was her destiny-much like anyone else's- to follow the basic path planned out for her, to settle for the mundanity of the civilized life.
But she hated it.
She wished she could go to Harajuku right now, she wasn't sure if she could take it, if she could take another day at school.
But she knew no one would be there today.
In a sense, only youth could Lolita, the hipsters at Harajuku were all school kids. Once you graduate, that lifestyle is over, and there's hardly a thing you can do about it. Try, and others will brand you as immature, and overly-sentimental.
'Or perhaps a whack-job..'
A wistful sigh blew past her lips, the cold fall wind carressing the back of her neck, through her bluish-black hair. She was starting to think that Neji's fatalism had finally gotten to her. He had always called life a curse.
If only there was a way to break it.
"Class, open your textbooks to page 60."
It was Geography/History studies. Maybe she was close-minded, but the only history she was interested in was European. Yet they were learning about the geography of their country. Let's see.. the best place to grow tea, where is the majority of Japan's tea farms? Yeah, like that was important!
"Correct, Amano-san. Can anyone tell me where we get our-" The teacher trailed off at the sound of a faded voice coming closer; and he was causing all sorts of hell on the way. The class could hear girls screaming, books knocked over, and the scoldings of other teachers. A loud clack of high-heels mixed into the ruckus like firecrackers, as the voice seemed to close in on their classroom door.
The room jumped with alarm.
The entire class stopped what they were doing, all their attention focused on the door, watching it intently, waiting for an explosion like in the shounen anime. Maybe there was a monster behind the door, who knows?
Just as their geography/histories teacher, Sakio-sensei, was about to open the door, one ragged hand on the knob, it flew open, startling him half to death.
He looked like he might have stroke. He was old enough to.
"Sakio-sensei. G-gomen nasai for interrupting your class." The female teacher, Imahada-sensei, said clearly out of breath. She continued. "I caught this delinquent, but I'm afraid he's your responsibility now. He says this is his homeroom." She explained, shaking the boy by the collar in a scolding manner. He looked like a fox held by the skin of its neck.
"You're not serious, Imahada-sensei.." The old man groaned, as he gave the kid a belittling once-over. He made his judgement then and there, already dubbing him as 'another hopeless case'.
"Gomen nasai, everybody." He said with a broad, goofy grin, hands clasped together in apology, his head slightly bowed in apology.
"Take him away. Leave him in someone else's care, maybe the principal." Sakio-sensei said coldly, brushing the new student aside like yesterday's trash. He couldn't believe how quickly he was recieving the shit-treatment.
"What? Hey, look! I just apologi-!"
"Never talk back! Have you no respect to your elders, hm? Are you so unruly?" The old man yelled, quickly growing agitated. He'd be damned if he had to put up with some brat. But he knew, as a teacher, it was his job to teach brats their place. "You are a new student then?"
"Yeah! My name is Uzumaki Naruto!" The boy exclaimed energetically with a proud and invincible smile. Just the sight of him, just hearing his name made the old man cringe with dread. 'A whirpool. A maelstrom. Just my luck.' He thought grudgingly.
Old man Sakio, as the insolent ones called him, approached Naruto almost menacingly.
"If I must endure you for the years to come, then you will show some respect. What ever happened to have you transfer so late in the first year?" He asked, his voice low, as if he thought he was doing the boy a favor, but they were all listening and they could all hear them clearly. Was the old man deliberately trying to ruin his chances here?
"Uh.. um.. Th-that's not me anymore, if it helps to say, sir." Naruto spoke softly, trying to be humble. Though, however smart his choice of words, they were ambiguous enough to be turned against him.
"So you were expelled then?" He assumed, speaking a little more loudly. Naruto could feel all the eyes on him, none probing, just staring.
"Think what you want, I'm not saying anything." Naruto replied evenly. He straightened his back under Sakio's bitter gaze, Naruto's body language said it all: 'I won't be taken down easily.'
"It doesn't matter what you say or don't say. I believe the class has already created an opinion of your character." Sakio-sensei stepped away from Naruto, who stood alone in the doorway, as the teacher returned to teaching.
Naruto glanced around the room, quickly meeting eyes halfway, trying to read them. Yet he could already see under their guarded and hidden expressions, what he was going to have to deal with, even as they stared at their textbooks.
What a wonderful way to start the new year.
"Come on, you" Imahada-sensei called out, pulling him by the shoulder and muttering. Before he allowed himself to be led away by the angry women, his eyes finally settled on a lone figure sitting by the window.
During that whole bout with the sensei, one person had not given it any attention. This one girl hadn't seen him, hadn't seen the foolish entrance he made, perhaps didn't even hear him.
"Hyuuga-san! Stop looking out the window and pay attention!" Sakio-sensei yelled.
'Hyuuga?' Was the last thought he had before having to pull his gaze away from her altogether. Just before he got pulled away completely, he glanced back and got a good look at her eyes. There was something interesting and peculiar about them: lavender? 'They must be contacts...'
A hopeful grin passed on his lips, as he was being lead away, a ray of hope shining brightly in his chest.
'I might still have a chance!'
"In here." She said curtly, a veiny hand extended towards some chairs. "This is the principals' office. You will wait here until your next class. And be glad too. If Sakio-sensei doesn't want to deal with you now, he doesn't want any crap the rest of the day."
Naruto sighed, as he plopped down on a chair, and leaned forward in a lazy manner, his elbows propped on his legs. The room was so bland and white. There were metal cabinets to one side, chairs alongside the walls on the other, and small wooden table in the middle with single tray of hard candy. The door to the prinicipal's actual office was closed and stood just behind his shoulder. To the left of him, the teacher sat, leaning against the counselor's desk, with several folders and papers laid out ontop. He looked up at the wiry teacher, dressed in a grey, tweed dress suit, her skirt knee-length. She wore half-rim glasses. Her face was long, thin and angular, her sandy-brown was wavy and held in a ponytail. It was a bit frizzy.
"..." Naruto wasn't sure what else to say, wondering if there was any point in responding. So far the aversion most adults and teachers met him with was old news and there was nothing much else to do about it.
"Why so quiet all of sudden?" The older woman asked, curious and seemingly sincere. Naruto merely shrugged. "You come in late to school, and late in the year.."
"Are you calling me out or something?" Naruto interjected rather waspishly, incredulity and boredom written on his face. "Coz if you're just gonna give me a verbal spanking, don't." His tone was casual, but his words were harsh. Imahada-sensei blinked with surprise, as she absentmindedly crossed her arms.
"And why shouldn't I?" She asked curiously with a thin brow quirked up.
Naruto leaned back into the seat and slouched into the old cushions. They smelled like they had been from the nineties. Old and musty.
"Don't friggin' need it. I've heard it all before." He replied in a passive-aggressive manner. He was taken aback when she started to laugh. "What?" He asked in an impatient voice.
"Well, well. Aren't we quick to judge?" She smirked. Naruto blushed with embarrassment, realizing he did just what teachers have always done to him. "I was just curious as to why you've arrived four months before the year's end."
"No special reason." Naruto shrugged aloof in his seat.
"Will you be able to make it into your second year?" She asked inquistively, coming off as nosy and a little too interested for an adult.
"I passed the entrance exams, what more do you need?" He commented assertively. He wondered how soon third period would pass, staying here like this was an awkward waste of time. Then again, going back to that class could be just as awkward. The atmosphere in there was less than welcoming, he doubted he'd make any friends soon. 'But maybe that one girl.. hope she's nice.'
"Your transcripts?" The woman said, her voice piercing through his thoughts.
"Are you a counselor or something?"
"Actually no, I'm the english language teacher."
"So what do you care?" He asked pointedly.
"Just curious." She shrugged with a coy smile.
"Whatever." Naruto shrugged back, slumping more into the musty cushions.
"You ought to lose that attitude of yours, by the way." She commented absentmindedly.
"Sakio-san is a very authoritarian man." Imahada-sensei added, connecting her statements with a single point.
"Yeah, I saw that." Naruto sighed tiredly. He wished he hadn't slept in today. He picked himself up after getting tired of slouching.
"I'm just saying you ought to be careful, you'll be walking on eggshells with rest of the years with him as your History studies and Sciences teacher."
"Great..." Naruto craned his head back to lean against the seat, the hard wooden back of it dug into his neck. Minutes passed slowly as Imahada-sense busied herself at the counselor's desk, before the silence was broken again.
"Who did you talk with about your schedule?"
It felt like an eternity passed before the bell finally rang. The moment Naruto had re-entered his homeroom, all eyes but one were on him. And the girl was still looking out the window. He wondered what was so interesting out there. The only seat left in the room was the one right behind hers, even then she didn't know he was there. He glanced out the window curiously, only to find a view of the street beyond the school fence. Every now and then pedestrians or a car would pass, but that was it.
It seemed like she was seeing something entirely different than he was. Because it was hardly a view.
He pulled his eyes away to bore a hole into hers. But then she turned away before he could get a good look at her face.
The day passed that way. Eventually he stopped staring at her, but he could still feel the looks. Then again perhaps he was just imagining them, because once he turned around no one was looking at him. Half of the time he would peek out of the corner of his eye, and he'd catch the glances. But they weren't glaring, just seemed wary of him.
He sighed apathetically through his nose.
If only he hadn't come so late in the year. Everyone already formed their friendships and cliques, so there was no room for him.
'Maybe next year..' He hoped.
Naruto turned his eyes forward again.
Hyuuga was plugged in, her earbuds in her ears as she listened to her music on her mobile. It wasn't until then, that he realized it was lunch time. He looked around the classroom. Everyone was in their groups, half of the class missing.
They were probably hanging out in other homerooms or eating outside.
There was a group of boys nearest the door, all huddled together in front of a laptop. Who knows what they were looking at, but they looked awfully excited. In the far right corner, the back of the room, one boy lay sleeping, slumped against his desk. Next to him, another boy with dark hair and dark skin, sat intently reading a magazine or mook of some sort.
At the front of the classroom, a group of three girls chatted, one sitting with her legs crossed on the sensei's desk. To the back was another group of girls chatting excitedly with one another. A couple of boys walked over to talk with them, bringing up a conversation about the teachers. From there they went from school gossip, to bad-talking their parents and older people in general.
"That's like my mom too! She pisses me off so much! I just want to slap her!" Complained one girl.
He searched around the room a bit more, he could have sworn he saw a pretty girl, but she wasn't around. She was really short too, when she stood up to answer a question to the teacher, she looked like she would be no higher than his naval.
'Oh well. She's probably got a boyfriend.'
Around the room, some students were scattered, sitting alone and studying, listening to music or sharing headphones with friends.
He wondered why Hyuuga-san wasn't with any of her friends. Or why no one was going over to talk to her.
Then he got nervous.
Naruto shifted his eyes from left to right to left again.
After a few minutes of silent deliberations, he stood up and leaned forward into his desk. He could smell something sweet coming from her direction, it wasn't a perfume though, it was something edible. He reached his hand out for her, his palms growing wet and cold.
He wasn't sure what would happen. He didn't want to get tossed, that would suck. And would she like him? She seemed pretty lonesome, he couldn't imagine why she was sitting so isolated from her classmates.
Where were her friends?
He was almost there, his fingers millimeters away..
Until the bell rang.
The students filed in and got to their seats. Before he knew it, Hyuuga had already taken out her headphones and put her cellphone away. He looked up to find the teacher staring expectantly at him, a coy smile on her lips. Everyone was looking at him with the same sort of eyes.
"It's time for class, will you sit down?" Imahada-sensei spoke smoothly over her half-rimmed glasses. Her words didn't process, however Naruto knew his situation. "Sit down, please?" Imahada-sensei repeated in a tone that made the classroom smirk and giggle.
Naruto sat down, but not without feeling like a fool.
"Bunch a pricks.." Naruto grumbled as he slipped his on his worn tennis shoes, placing his indoor shoes inside his locker. He shut his locker with an agitated slam, ignoring the looks he was getting. 'At least I'm not invisbile, I guess...' He thought ironically as he turned to the right, the sight of a bluish-black head catching his attention and startling him halfway.
He didn't even see her there! He nearly bumped into her, and he didn't even know she was there!
And still she didn't notice him. It didn't take him until she was halfway across the courtyard to realize that she had just walked away from him without the slightly glance.
'Maybe I am invisible...' He mused absentmindedly, as she grew smaller in the distance. Alarm shot through him like an injection when she turned the corner, her bluish-black hair sweeping behind her in the wintry, fall wind. He was losing his chance for a first friend. It was his moment now to make a good first impression, rather than have the class make a monster or fool out of him tomorrow.
He ran after her.
He had to make she liked him.
He needed approval, even the slightest.
He needed to say 'hi' to her.
'But once I do.. what if she's just like the rest of them?' He thought despondantly, the hope draining away from him like blood from a gash, the more he ran, his sprints slowing down to mere jogging. However despite recent doubts, he continued to follow her, and eventually sped back up. He tried to get an idea, to paint a picture about her, even though all he ever saw of her was the back of her head. But he couldn't come up with anything.
He never was good at reading a person from afar.
She was getting farther away now, he had to catch up.
'Gaaah, dammit! ..Okay, here goes nothing!'
He cupped his hands around his mouth and pushed himself to run faster.
Naruto saw her come to a stop, a jittery jump to her steps. It was clear that he startled her.
She could hear rushed footsteps close-in on her, a stampede in her ears. She was too frightened to turn around, too shocked to move.
Naruto saw the stiffness in her shoulders, her entire body tense with apprehension. Yet he ignored it all and smiled, happy to have his prey in his grasp. He reached his hand out for her again.
Hinata felt that hand. It held her shoulder and turned her around, but her eyes were closed tightly shut, fear and adrenaline beating wildy in her bloodstream. She felt like her heart would burst from her ribcage.
And then she screamed.
Naruto quickly retracted his hand, bringing them to cover his ears. A hot flash created a cold sweat on his hands, a freaked out jolt running down his spine. He hadn't expected that sort of reaction at all!
"What the hell was that-?" He cursed pissily, stopping short upon realization. She was running away! "Oi! OI! HYUUGA-SAN! WAIT, HOLD UP!" He yelled out, hoping she'd listen, but she wasn't. "Stop! Hold up!"
Hinata pushed herself with all her might to go faster, faster, faster, while all she could hear was: "Chotto, chotto, chotto!" But she would not wait up for him, whoever he was.
"Hyuuga-san, come back please?" He called out.
"No way!" She cried back.
"I just want to talk!"
"I don't care!"
"You don't know that for sure! Maybe deep, deep down you do care!" Naruto couldn' t help but laugh as he said that. Part of him wondered if he joking with her or making fun of himself. He was disappointed however at her next reply.
"Go away! Just leave me alone!" Hinata cried as she pushed herself harder. Whatever he just said didn't make much sense to her and it kinda creeped her out.
Naruto growled with frustration.
"I can't do that, I have to talk to you!" He fought back firmly, determination fueling his momentum. He never backed down, too bad she didn't know that.
"Why, God, why me?" Hinata wailed miserably, as if the greatest of tragedies had just befallen her.
"Wha-what? Why you? ..Why me! Am I that freakin' awful?" Naruto yelled corrosively, his sensitive temper getting the best of him. If anyone on earth had a right to complain to god, it was him. 'Why does every girl I run into hate me? What the hell does she have to run away from?'
"I don't even know you!"
"Exactly! Y-you didn't even look at me! Y-you were l-looking out the.. (huff).. o-out the window all day!" He shouted, his voice struggling to keep up, while they dodged and darted through the crowds of Kitashinagawa District. He had taken the time to look around, he would have found themselves in the market sector of town, where throng of housewives and young children roamed.
Hinata slowed to a stop however, confusion setting in. The stampede that had been stubbornly pursuing her through town came to a halt at her feet as well, and she turned around.
"Wh-what?" She asked, taking in his spiky blonde hair. He hung his head as he bent over, hands on his knees, to catch his breath.
"I.. (huff).. s-said y-you were.. (huff).. lookin' out the wi-window all d-day..(whew)." He finally replied, sounding exhausted. He was grateful she finally stopped. He wasn't sure what he was going to do if he had to chase her tomorrow just for a conversation. That's just pathetic.
"Who.. are you again?" She asked hesitantly.
Her voice had been so soft and so sweet, that it startled him pleasantly before warming him with its charm. He was still out of breath, and felt a bit sweaty, which was embarrassing. He hoped she didn't notice. Slowly, he brought himself up, a cheeky grin on his face.
"Uzumaki Naruto." He said. "I'm your new classmate."
The brilliance of his smile held her place, his eyes a startling and striking blue. Yet it wasn't his eyes or his hair that caught her attention at all, not like a new dress in a window display, no...
It was the unusual whisker marks on his cheeks.
Three lines on either side, like Doraemon or "Hello Kitty".
No.. more like... a Kitsune.
Momo- MWAHAHAHAHA! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Success! Finally! First chapter redone! I have no idea if this it what it was always meant to be, but I think it turned out pretty well. Please review, ja ne! XD
Jui: Vocalist of Visual-kei rockband "Vidoll".
Vidoll: Visual-kei rockband. Their name is a play on words, and depending the on kanji used, can mean: "Beautiful Doll" or "Insignificant Puppet", which are the themes often reflected in their lyrics, releases and tour names. Also they are apparently known for their perverse lyrics. If only I knew them! (lol).
Kana: Lolita J-Rocker. She first started out as a model in Gothic & Lolita Bible, and still appears regularly. She is also a toy designer, illustrator and fashion designer. Her music is widely recieved, but her voice is often criticized for its harsh and screechy tone. (I actually don't particularly like it, but if she tried mixing in some low notes, it could work for some great Metal/J-Rock or Riot Grrrl music!) X3
Gothic & Lolita Bible: It's a culture, fashion, lifestyle, magazine/book hybrid. That's why it's called a "mook".
Mook: Magazine/Book hybrid. Usually meaning it's a serialized art book with tips and news and talk about events and interviews, wheeee! XD
Doraemon: 1970's popular anime character, a talking blue cat known for his interdimensional pouch on his stomach. Wheee! XDDD
November, four months before end of the school year: It's pretty much the end of November, and so there are four months left of school. School in Japan ends March, and starts in April. At first I was having the end of school be during the summer, much like us, but I figured I could change the story around enough to keep it accurate. Hopefully it works out, since I AM revising. :P
REVIEW! MOO! XDDD