I was having one of those days. You know, the kind where your roommate forgets to put the toilet seat back down and you don't notice, which results in you falling into the toilet—and when you finally get out of the toilet and do your business, you then realize that there's no more toilet paper. Yeah, one of those kind of days. Everyone has them at least one point in their lives. It was a butthole day.
It was also detention day.
You know, there are times when I really can't begin to understand life. I mean, how come life suddenly decides it wants to pick up after you move to an all boy school when you're really a girl? Bear with me, that was a purely hypothetical question.
Anyway, it was one of those days. It actually started at about five-thirty in the morning, when I woke up for some completely inexplicable reason. One minute I was dreaming about walking under the ocean (I readily admit I have mad weird dreams) while being followed by an eight legged spider, and the next I was sitting up in my bed, trying to figure out what was out of place. Of course, that's hard to do when the only light in the room is the glowing, green numbers of my digital clock. That read five-thirty. In the morning. You know, when the sun isn't even out yet.
Letting out a sigh that completely emptied my lungs, I twisted a bit so that I could roll out of bed and onto my feet. At least, that was my plan. You see, my legs got rather tangled in my sheets and I ended up sprawled half on the floor and half on my bed with a mouthful of dust bunnies. I spit and grumbled, trying to rid myself of the cottony feeling that suddenly filled my mouth. Yuck.
Flipping myself over with much effort, I did a complicated sit-up and wrestled my way out of the blanket. For a moment I just lied there, the lower half of my body still resting uncomfortably on the bed. I was tired, and not quite sure why I was trying so valiantly to get up. By all means I should have just gone back to sleep. It was five-thirty, after all. But my mind was bothering me—something was oddly out of place.
It then struck me that I was the only one in the room.
I blinked hard. Hojou generally never left during the weekend, his family lived too far away for him to be leaving every five days. The expenses would be mad crazy.
I didn't think about it too hard, though. If Hojou wanted to spontaneously disappear, then Hojou could spontaneously disappear. Reassured by these thoughts, I finally gathered my wits together enough to pull myself to my feet and stumble towards the bathroom.
Who on earth woke up at five-thirty on Saturdays anyway?
My mind decided that that was enough thinking for the day and I stumbled over to the bathroom. Detention was going to start in a couple hours, so I figured that I might as well get myself clean. Aka, take a shower. So, half asleep, I turned on the water, waited exactly five-point-eight minutes for it to heat up (our heating system, mind you, is terribly temperamental), then stepped under what should have been a nice, hot stream.
It was ice cold.
I shouted in surprise and woke up half the dormitory.
Happy-bloody-Saturday morning to me.
Chapter Sixteen: Mystery Machine
"Good morning to you too, Kagome," Eiji greeted, ice pack still pressed against one of the worst black eyes I had ever seen in my natural born life. Miroku was hovering at his side with an embarrassed and guilty expression on his face, which could only mean our dear pervert boy was responsible for the eye. The two of them were lounging in the near empty cafeteria, along with Kouga. "By the way, I hate you."
"As does the majority of the dorm. What happened? To your eye, not why everyone hates me."
"I sorta clobbered him with the door," Miroku piped up, still looking sheepish. A sheepish Miroku is a funny image, mind you. I raised my eyebrow at him and he snorted, crossing his arms over his chest. "Well, how was I supposed to know he was there?"
"I think it would be pretty damned obvious, since I was standing right in front of you," Eiji snapped back, and Miroku went back to looking sheepish. I grinned. "And wipe that grin off of your face, Kagome. I still hate you."
My grin widened. I was having a crappy day already and, hell, misery loved company.
"Why?" Kouga drawled from his place beside me. He was draped across one of the chairs like a big old wolf. "What'd you do to him? And the rest of the dorm, for that matter."
"Woke us up," Eiji responded for me, giving me the devil's eye. "At five in the bloody morning!"
I beamed and stole Kouga's half-finished muffin. He made a weird growling bark at me, and I ignored him. I ignored Eiji too, for that matter, and changed the subject. "When's our detention, Miroku?" I asked.
"In about an hour." The renowned pervert, who was consequently one of my best friends, started to pace for some reason. I watched him, nibbling my new muffin. It was stale and dry.
"For crying out loud, Miroku, sit down and--"
"--shut up." I dropped my head in my free hand, willing this morning to be over. "'Mornin', Inuyasha."
"I think you broke my nose," he replied. After a few moments he pushed himself up enough to rest his head on the palms of his hands. His nose was red. "Can I kill you now?"
"Too early," I responded cheerfully, taking a bite from the muffin.
"Damn. What are you doing here, anyway?"
"Detention." I glared at him, suddenly, just remembering WHY I had a detention. "You know, you deserved that whole sit.."
"You. Are. So. Dead."
Quickly pushing myself to my feet, I grinned at my other friends who were trying to hide their laughter, threw a wave, then bolted. "Later, 'Yasha!"
I was not about to stay and learn all those creative ways of killing me he had stored away in his mind.
Lady Kaede was vengeful.
"I want you to clean and reorganize the entire attic."
The attic looked like it hadn't been touched in years.
"And when you're done with that, I want you to do the same with the basement."
The basement was worse than the attic.
"When you're done, come back to me and I'll see if your job was good enough. If not, you have to redo it." And, with those parting words, she left me and Miroku with a bucket of soapy water, several rags, two brooms and a mop. I reached up and touched my temple tiredly, then sighed.
"Well, come on Priest. Let's get cleaning."
"What do you mean, 'no'?! I am not about to clean this entire attic by myself! I mean, look at it!"
"Mmph! Mmph mmph mph!"
"Oh, quit complaining and let's get to work."
Miroku sighed and tried to pry his teeth out of a lollipop as I walked to the first sheet-covered piece of furniture. I'm pretty sure the sheet had been white at one point in its existence, but at the moment it was a moldy yellow. I scrunched up my nose and plucked at it.
"What is all this junk, anyway?"
"It's our storage," Miroku explained thickly. He was holding the half eaten lollipop away from himself almost accusingly. "We keep all our theatre and festival stuff up here."
I raised an eyebrow. "Been up here a lot?"
Miroku gave me a mock offended look, opened his mouth to say something, then blinked and gave me a lopsided grin. "So I get detentions a lot. Sue me."
"Tempting." I rolled my eyes and uncovered the piece of furniture I had been picking at. A cloud of dust rose up, enveloping me and the moth eaten couch I released. I sneezed a couple of times. "Did you ever actually clean during these several detentions?"
"Well, ah, no."
"..how'd you get away with it?" I snapped the sheet out a couple of times, trying to get all of the dust out. It seemed nearly impossible, with all the clouds that came from the sheet. Miroku's smile widened, and he walked up to another piece of furniture.
"Can't tell you that, you might kill me." He grabbed the sheet and mimicked me, a humongous dust cloud rising from that sheet, too. He sneezed. "Anyway, it's not like I did anything bad. I just always pretended to get hurt or sick. I think Lady Kaede might be catching on, though."
"Idiot." I swiped the rag half-heartedly over the surface of the couch, accomplishing nothing. I shrug and gave up, moving to the next piece of furniture. "Jeez, these things look like they've been here since the 1950s!"
"Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if they had." Miroku was wiping down an old dresser that was water damaged. "This school is ancient."
"It looks it," I agreed, looking at an old mahogany trunk. There was a lock on it, but it was open. My interest piqued. "Hey. What do we have here?"
He must have heard the curiosity in my voice, because Miroku immediately abandoned the dresser he was scrubbing furiously at in order to crouch by my side. We glanced at each other, then both turned to the trunk, grabbed the lid, and pushed it open.
There was a skeleton folded in it.
I screamed at the top of my lungs.
Miroku slammed the lid of the trunk down, eyes humongous. I stopped screaming and scrambled back a couple of feet, a hand over my chest to try and unsuccessfully calm my pounding heart. There was a pregnant silence that I think both of us were to afraid to break.
"D-do you think it was r-real?" Miroku stammered. I didn't say anything, knowing it would come out in a jumbled mess. He turned to look at me, eyes so wide that white showed all around his irises. We stared at each other for a long moment, before he turned back around and opened the trunk again.
The skeleton was still there.
I blinked, snapping myself out of my terror, and crawled up beside him. There was something odd about it. It seemed a bit to clean to be.. well, a real skeleton. Gathering up my courage, I reached over and knocked on the surface of it's head. The head toppled to the side and I grimaced, but at the same time let out a breath of relief.
"It's plastic," I said, feeling extremely silly. Miroku glanced at me again to make sure, then reached over and felt for himself. The tension left his shoulders all at once, and he let out a sheepish laugh.
"Boy, to I feel stupid," he said, then leaned back. "Damn thing. What's the big idea, keeping a fake skeleton stored in a creepy old trunk, anyway?"
"I dunno, Halloween, maybe?"
Miroku looked at me as if I grew a second head, then cursed under his breath. "That's right. Halloween's coming up."
I nodded. "Hey, I thought you'd like Halloween. You know, with the free candy, and all.."
"I would like it," Miroku said, still sounding a bit tizzed. He was looking at the skeleton with bitter eyes, "if it didn't fall on a Thursday this year. Or did you forget our curfew?"
My face fell. "You mean.."
"Yeah. They're extra strict about it on holidays, too. Especially 'unimportant' ones like Halloween. Anyway, we have to be in our own dorm rooms at exactly ten sharp. We can't even hang out in each other's rooms."
I frowned suddenly, glancing at Miroku. "Wait, that's not right. They used to let us stay out past eleven. At least, the upperclassmen. Why the sudden change? And how come I haven't heard of it?"
He snorted darkly, getting to his feet. "You don't read the bulletins. They're reinforcing curfew on school days, but they're not saying why. I don't know, I think it might have to do with all the shit that's going on between our school and the girl's school."
"You know, about the merging and stuff. Parents are complaining."
I got to my feet, shaking my head. "That doesn't explain much. Why are they punishing us for something like that?" Glowering, I snatched up another sheet and snapped it out, once again engulfed by a cloud of dust. I ignored it.
"It's not punishment to them, Kagome," Miroku grumbled, then looked at what I uncovered. The sulky look vanished. "Hey! It's an old record player!"
I shook my head. My life was getting too musical for it's own good.
Beaming like a three-year-old in a candy shop, Miroku fiddled with the controls. I checked the back of it. "It's plugged—"
"Ooh, my little pretty one, pretty one!
When you gonna give me some time, Sharona!"
"—in." I jerked away from the record player, hands over my ears. "Thanks for deafening me, Miroku." I glared and he grinned.
"Ooh, you make my motor run, my motor run!
Gun it comin' off the line Sharona!"
"You know, this song reminds me a lot of you," I said, moving to the next sheet covered piece of furniture. I discovered a desk. "Hmm.."
Never gonna stop, give it up.
Such a dirty mind. Always get it up for the touch
of the younger kind. My, my, myyiyi.. woo!
"DEFINITELY your song," I repeated. Miroku flipped me the bird and continued dusting, crowing along to the song. I grinned and opened the drawer.
"Now what have we here?" I asked no one, since Miroku was dancing around the room with the broom. I pulled out a stack of papers, my eyebrows raised, then started flipping through them, scanning over the papers quickly. My eye caught something, and I pulled out the paper. It looked like a photocopy of a newsclipping.
I rolled my eyes. "Did the two St. Bernard's really used to be one school?"
"Come a little closer huh, ah will ya huh?
Close enough to look in my eyes, Sharona.
Keeping it a mystery.. gets to me,
Running down the length of my thighs, Sharona!"
Miroku hopped on the desk and it let out a formidable creak. I grimaced and waited for it to collapse. It didn't. He reached over and grabbed the paper from my hand, then looked suitably surprised. "Woah, hey! That's Lady Kaede!"
"Let me see that." I snatched it back from him, then looked at the picture of the rather attractive young girl at the top of the page. I looked closer, squinting a little bit, then looked at the name beneath the photo. "Wow. It really is. She was cute."
"Hey, I'm the guy here. You're a straight girl, and not allowed to check out guys." He plucked the paper out of my hand again, scanning over the information. He knit his eyebrows together. "I knew the schools used to be one, but this isn't right.."
"What do you mean?"
"Listen here, 'St. Bernard's School for Special Children is officially splitting into two different schools, St. Bernard's School for Special Girls, and St. Bernard's School for Special Boys..'"
"Never gonna stop, give it up. Such a dirty mind.
Always get it up for the touch
of the younger kind.."
"'Lady Kaede, the new dean AND owner of the new St. Bernard's School for Special Boys, refused to answer why she had willingly handed over the majority of the assets and money to the old co-owner of the school, Mr. Daisetsu Watanabe, despite the fact he cut off connections with the two new schools. It is also unknown to exactly why the school split..'"
Miroku and I looked at each other.
"My, my, myyiyi.."
"WOO!" we both crowed with the song.
Miroku folded up the paper and put it in his pocket.
"What do you think happened?" I asked, running my fingers through my hair.
"I don't know, but that's what we're going to find out this weekend." Miroku suddenly looked at me shrewdly, then hopped off the desk. "Actually, more like what you and Inuyasha are going to find out. I have.. stuff to do this weekend."
I tapped my foot impatiently, not particularly liking the direction everything was heading. "I have work tomorrow, in case you've forgotten.."
"Yeah, and it starts at one, as you've reminded us so many times. That gives you plenty of time to go snooping around for what the hell happened way back when."
I glared at him. He was taking all my excuses and flushing them. "So, am I going to go, or is 'Kekki' going to go?"
"That entirely depends on what you find out about Mr. Watanabe. If he's a pervert, then you're going as Kekki. Well, if he's a straight pervert."
I dropped my head in my hands. "So, what now?"
"Now, we finish cleaning before Lady Kaede comes up and kills us. And while we're at it, look for more stuff about this guy."
"When you gonna give it to me, give it to me.
It is just a matter of time Sharona!
Is it just destiny, destiny?
Or is it just a game in my mind.. mind.. mind.. mind.. mind..
Both Miroku and I stopped what we were doing and turned to glare at the now skipping record player.
..mind.. mind.. mind..
Miroku kicked it sharply.
It took us four hours to finish cleaning the attic, then another three to clean the basement. By then I was sweaty and dusty and smelly—more than ready for a nice long shower and a nap. Unfortunately, Miroku had other plans on his mind.
"Take a quick shower. I'm going to go find 'Yasha, and you two are going to the library to look for more dirt on Mr. Watanabe. Here.." He shoved the paper in my hand. "I'll see you later."
With those parting words, Miroku headed off to find our long haired friend. I sighed, raking my fingers through my own hair, then turned around and headed towards my dorm. While walking there, I unfolded the paper and scanned it again, tucking important dates and names into the back of my mind.
1942.. 1951.. Mr. Saito Ito..
I jumped about a foot, tossing my hands into the air in surprise. Inuyasha smirked at me, plucking the paper from my hand.
"Is this what Miroku was so excited about?"
I nodded dumbly, still too surprised to properly say anything.
He quickly read over the file, and I could almost see him mentally tucking in important bits of information in the back of his mind. He frowned deeply. "This is weird. What do you think?"
"I think we should do what Miroku said and head to the library. Or confront Lady Kaede."
"Somehow, I doubt she'll confess to anything, especially to a couple of rogue teenagers who are just snooping around out of curiosity."
"Can we name your car The Mystery Machine?"
"Fat chance, Freddy."
I grinned, then continued to walk. "Hey, you're fast. Where'd you come from, anyway?"
"I was actually heading to Eiji's room to see how he was doing when Miroku caught me and told me what was up. Briefly. So, we're heading to the library while Miroku puts his moves on Sango?" he asked, keeping pace with me.
"Yeah. But I need to take a shower first."
"No kidding. You reek."
I punched him on the arm, hard.
"Ow! Hey, it's the truth man.."
"Yeah, whatever. Anyway, I'll meet you at the front at four-thirty?"
Inuyasha pulled up his sleeve and glanced at his watch, then nodded. "Sounds good to me. Later, Kagome!" And he was off. What is it with guys and running off at the first chance they got? I shook my head and started back towards my dorm room, dying to get out of my clothes and into a new pair. As much as I didn't want to admit it, Inuyasha was right. I DID reek.
It took us fifteen minutes to get to the library, and another ten to actually find the section with all the records in them. No, not records like for a record player, but those large old books that had newsclippings for each year. I grabbed the one for 1942 and Inuyasha the one for 1951.
"Says here the school finally split in 1951, even though they had been planning on doing it since 1942," Inuyasha said after a good twenty minutes of flipping through the gargantuan books.
"They were planning to split for almost ten years?" I asked, surprised. "Why did it take them so long?"
Inuyasha shrugged, then grabbed the book and went over to the copy machine to make a copy of the page. "Beats me. I suppose we should find Mr. Watanabe to find out, or something."
"..Or something. Why are we doing this, anyway?"
"Because.." Inuyasha said with infinite calmness, grabbing the copy and the book and returning to his seat next to mine, "..St. Bernard's is boring. Nothing interesting happens here. So when we find something interesting, of course we're going to jump on it!"
"Baseball isn't boring," I retaliated, flipping through the book again. "There's nothing in here."
"Baseball only happens one time a year." Inuyasha was already putting the book away and searching for something else.
"What are you looking for?" I asked, hefting the humongous book back into its spot on the shelf.
"An address book. We're going to pay Mr. Watanabe a visit."
.:end chapter sixteen:.
Edit: June 16, 2007
I deleted chapter 17 because that was merely an author's note (and that's against policy). In summary: School Daze is on (pretty much) permanent hiatus and is discontinued. I won't be giving it to anyone to continue, but thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed this story.