Me: Well, here it is. The first chapp. Y'know, this is the first fic i've done since my house fire. That's right, I'm officially caught up!
Ichigo: (eye-roll) No one gives a shit.
Me: (rolls eyes right back) You're just lucky Rukia isn't here.
Ichigo: (looks around) She's not? Then why the HELL am i still here?
Me: Go away now.
Ichigo: Tch, don't have to tell me twice. (runs off)
Me: (sighs and shakes head) Whatever. Anyway. If you've read this fic before, you're probably going "WTF" a hundred times a minute right now. Stating the obvious, i decided since i couldn't sleep, why not edit my earlier chapps! So yeah. Hopefully they'll be a bit better. Enjoy!
Sigh. Jetlag. Peyton wasn't exactly used to 14-or-so-hour flights. Especially when she was dragged into the aforementioned flight despite hating flying with a passion. Your dead mother having been a flight attendant would do that to you. ...Or maybe that was just her weird logic talking.
Either way, you'd think maybe her dad would take that into consideration before deciding "Hey, kids, let's move across the world to a foreign country! I mean, we used to visit the town every year, right?". Granted, the last time they went was when her mother had died, but nah, why would that matter?
She shook her head quickly as she continued to scrub her reeking body. "Nope. Don't ruin the pure goodness of this extremely hot and well-needed shower. Don't you do it!"
During the stupid flight, some geek puked all over Lindsay, and some of it had gotten on her as well. Disgusting. Peyton may be paranoid about planes, but she could at least contain her bodily fluids!
Even though she told herself to stop ruining the showery goodness, that didn't mean she couldn't ruin the largeness of her new room as she unpacked. Technically, she couldn't mope in the shower. And when you promise to do something stupid, such as be positive, technicality matters.
Peyton hated Japan already. She used to love it, everything about it. But some restless moaning outside had kept her awake, causing her hatred to return tenfold the next morning.
So, guess who had to make a detour on the way to school to try and settle it? (Note to self: when moving your kids across the world, DON'T move on a Sunday and make them have to face school on a Monday, for crying out loud!)
Peyton sighed again, hoping this angsty mood of hers would disappear soon. She knew she was probably annoying the hell out of her family with her attitude over this whole situation, but she couldn't help it! It sucked!
Finally, she turned the corner to see a nearly transparent girl sobbing and moaning in an alleyway, just like she had been all night last night. There she is. "So. YOU kept me up all night. What's eatin' ya?"
She stared at Peyton with wide brown eyes, surprised she could be seen, but too desperate to share her misery with someone to question it. "I was hit by my own boyfriend's car, and...I died in the hospital. He blames himself. He's planning to committ suicide. Please, help me talk him out of it before it's too late!" she begged, starting to cry all over again.
Peyton nodded quickly; she hated it when ghosts started crying. "S-Sure, I can miss my first day! Where does he live?"
She sighed, rubbing her eyes briefly. "T-Tokyo."
Peyton groaned. "Dude, that's HOURS away! When's he planning on making his dramatic exit?"
"How am I supposed to know?" she wailed.
"YOU'RE the one who told me he was committing suicide, shouldn't you know when he planned to do it?" she exclaimed, despite knowing arguing with a miserable ghost was pointless. She glanced at her phone, and wished she hadn't; school started way too soon for her liking.
"Just please help him!" she moaned, sobbing some more and making Peyton feel even more miserable.
Peyton had to wrap this up, or she was gonna be late. And there's nothing more humiliating then being late on your first day in the middle of a school year. "Okay, um, yeah. He's beyond help. BUT!" she yelled as the poor girl started wailing again. "BUT, when he committs said suicide, he'll have unfinished business as well. Which will eventually bring you two back together. Which will SETTLE said business, so you two can prance off into the light together."
"Won't he go to hell for killing himself?" the ghost questioned, her tears slowing nonetheless.
"I...think there are certain exceptions. But I wouldn't recommend it!" She added loudly to anyone who might happen to be listening.
You know, just in case they could see ghosts too.
Dead girl brightened. "Thanks!"
Peyton gave her a quick half-salute before sprinting like mad for school. "Good luck!"
So. That delay cut the extra ten minutes she had. Peyton thanked her lucky stars she had a belt on as she just barely made it to the office.
Running skills aside, her skirt was almost three sizes too big. "Leave it to dad to assure us that, and I quote, 'I know your sizes! If your mom could do it, so can I!' " She muttered darkly as she walked up to the desk.
The woman behind the desk blinked up at her. "Yes? Can I help you?"
"Um, I'm transferring here? My sister and brother already got here, I'm guessing." As if that would help. They were both blonde-haired and blue-eyed, the complete opposite of their red-haired and brown-eyed younger sister. Thanks a lot, mom, for only passing your genes onto one of your spawn.
"Name?" She asked dully as she rifled through folders.
"Oh, right. Peyton Cullen?"
Her head shot up. Oh yeah. Before Twilight came out, she never got that reaction. But instead of commenting on the coincidence, the woman whispered, "The Yankee kids!"
Peyton cleared her throat nervously. "Well, if you wanna be specific, I'm from the South, so I would be part of the Confederacy in this reference. But I still think slavery is bad and everything, of course, I mean, I may be lazy but I'd do my own work any day," she rambled, wincing slightly as the bell rang rather loudly in the hallways.
The lady nodded slowly, mesmerized. It was more than a little unsettling. "Right...Ah, here you go," she said suddenly as she handed her some papers. "The one on top's a hall pass and a note explaining who you are and other information your homeroom teacher might need. Good luck!" she explained cheerfully.
Peyton smiled politely, then muttered to herself as she walked away, "I'll need it."
You know those movies about new kids where the door shuts really loudly, and everyone's heads shoot up in their direction? Same scenario. And boy, was it as cliche as she'd imagined it would be.
"Um...hi," she said lamely, this being one of the few times in her life that she wanted the floor to swallow her up.
The teacher waved a hand cheerfully. "Why, hello there. Can I help you?"
"Yeah, are you, Ms. ...Ochi?" Peyton read off the slip of paper, thanking Lindsay in her head for insisting they should learn about basic Japanese characters before moving to Karakura Town. Although, Ms. Ochi had spoken English, so that was a little comforting.
"That's me! You must be the Yankee kid!" Looking at everyone's faces, Peyton had an epiphany. Huh. THIS must be what a fish in an aquarium feels like!
"Uh...Yes ma'am?" she replied uncertainly, fully aware that she probably sounded like a complete idiot. Her Southern accent wasn't helping her case any, either.
"Well, take a seat, take a seat!" Ms. Ochi said in her oh-so-cheerful tone, making Peyton feel even more miserable as she made her way down a row of desks and plopped into an empty seat near the middle of the room.
Peyton spent the rest of homeroom studying her class schedule and maps carefully. She took Bella's tip seriously from that damn Twilight series; she didn't want her nose buried in the map all day.
Of course, it was hard to focus when you have slight ADD and a whole classroom full of people staring at you intently to see if you do something...gasp!...YANKEE!
Finally, once she had at least the way to her first two classes memorized, she slowly looked up at them. "...Yes? Can I help you?"
Like minnows, they swiveled back around in their seats and their gazes shot down to their books. Some random guy whistled innocently. Peyton rolled her eyes. Idiots.
First period was history with Mr. Udo. His name reminded her of noodles, making her want ramen real bad.
He was cool, he didn't call her Yankee Kid, which made him one out of roughly five hundred.
Peyton's seat was behind a girl that she considered cool enough; she hadn't stared at her in homeroom like everyone else had. ...Well, minus that one other girl whose face was buried in some gooey romance manga (the cover had some doctor and nurse with hearts all around them, if that gives you any clue).
Besides, history had always been her favorite class. The fact that it was Japanese history made it even more interesting, and she was a natural talker, so...needless to say, it was over way too soon, and she had had a good conversation with Tatsuki through most of it.
Now she had no choice but to trudge to the next class, one she hated with a passion: Biology.
Here she was known as American Girl. That was slightly better, but was still pretty damn depressing. She was partnered up with the whistling kid from her homeroom, and he immediately swiveled towards her in his seat. "Why, hell-ooo there," he said suavely.
Peyton gave him a half-wave. "Yo."
He held out a hand, making her blink at him. "I'm Keigo. You're Yankee Kid, right? One of three, I hear."
She sighed and shook it. "Yup. Word sure travels fast around here..."
"Karakura's a bit, uh, small. So what's your real name?"
She sweatdropped, getting her hand out of his after two tries. Wait...Isn't Karakura quite large? "Peyton."
"Peeyy-ton," he repeated suavely. "I like it."
Peyton sweatdropped. Did I mention how much I don't like Karakura Town anymore? She pretended to be relieved. "Oh, good. I was named just to please you."
Keigo chuckled. "Feisty, are we?"
She sweatdropped again. "...Sure." I was thinking more along the lines of a smartass, but whatever floats your boat, kid.
"Hey, you. What time is it?" someone asked from above her head, interrupting her flow of thoughts that were bound to turn more and more suicidal the longer she sat by Keigo. Peyton glanced up at him and realized this kid looked really tall from the insanely low seat she was sitting in. NOT fair.
She held up both wrists; they were covered with random multicolored bracelets, including one from a Tokio Hotel concert that she was particularly fond of, but no watches. "Does it look like I know?" she replied dully, not feeling like pulling out her cell phone and getting it taken up.
Keigo didn't seem to like this guy's arrival. "10:15, Kurosaki. Can't you see I'm busy here?" He pointed at Peyton meaningfully.
The Kurosaki kid looked from Keigo's suave expression, to Peyton's bored one, and just smirked. "Yeah, you're on a roll. Have fun."
And with that, he just walked right off. Peyton turned in her seat to look at Keigo. "Who the hell was that?" she asked, hoping she'd have a name so she'd know who not to ever stand by. She was short enough as it was.
He waved the question off. "Ehhh, no one important. So, where were we?" he asked with a waggle of his eyebrows.
...Oh. Dear. God. Someone shoot me.
Thank God she had Lindsay in her PE class at least. "Have they been staring at you too?" Lindsay whispered as they changed.
They had taken refuge in the locker room's bathroom stalls to escape the sideways looks they kept getting. "Well, yeah. We're YANKEES!"
They exchanged a laugh. "It's worse for me, I think," Lindsay commented thoughtfully after a few moments of silence between them.
Her younger sister had to agree. Not only was Lindsay one of the fellow apparent Yankee Kids, but she was a tall blonde that was more "developed" than two Peytons. Not outrageously so, but enough to make Peyton shake her head at her own chest in disappointment. Poor Lindsay...the girls might eat her alive.
Peyton, unlike Bella Swan, had a knack for sports. So there. Of course, when the coach called her name, about half of the room's female population gasped. The fact that she could play baseball didn't help the situation, it just made her the butt of every Twilight joke out there. Oh well, she was used to it by now, but it still didn't really ease the excruciating pain of a slow first day.
Needless to say, she practically ran out of the building once the bell rang, and her two older siblings weren't far behind.
"So? How was your day?" Seth asked them as if it were of extreme importance. Even that sounded like he was mocking her, but perhaps that was her pessimism and paranoia mixing together.
"I felt like a bug under a microscope," Lindsay whined.
Peyton waved her hand from side to side. "Ehh, it was okay." Total bold-faced lie. While it had a couple nice points, like meeting Tatsuki and having at least one subject she actually enjoyed studying for, the majority of the day had just been an epic failure.
Seth grinned and popped his collar, making his sisters sweatdrop. "All the girls so wanted me. Nothin' they like more than a new senior in town with badass hair and a sexy accent to match his sly Southern grin," he explained, probably having read that off the back of one of Lindsay's romance novels and paraphrasing it to his liking.
"Well, aren't you the stud?" Peyton said as she smoothed his collar and flattened his dirty blonde hair. "Here, your hair's all scruffy."
"Dammit, P, you're ruining my image!"
"The one I'm building like a pro, stupid! You wouldn't know!"
"I know that you're a dumbass!"
"YOU'RE the dumbass!"
"No, YOU ARE!"
"YOU GUYS, CUT IT OUT!" Lindsay shouted, making them settle with sticking their tongues out at each other. Their sister sighed and shook her head. "Funny how you're older, Seth, yet you let her treat you like a five-year-old."
"You both treat me like a five-year-old," he muttered.
Lindsay grinned. "I cook your dinner, I have a right to!"
"Yeah, and you better watch it. 'Cause one day, Linds is gonna get sick, and I'll be fixing dinner! I might poison you food!" Peyton warned with a maniacal laugh.
Her siblings both shuddered. "...Peyton, if you cooked dinner, you wouldn't have to poison the food, it'd kill us regardless."
"HEY! MY COOKING ISN'T THAT BAD!"
"LAST TIME YOU COOKED, YOU SET THE KITCHEN ON FIRE!"
"YOU CAN'T PROVE THAT!"
"YOUR RAMEN NOODLES WERE STILL ON THE STOVE, DUMBASS!"
The next day, she was walking to school when she felt something whoosh past her, making her stop and gasp. In her so-tired-she-looked-dead state, a bunny hopping past her could make her scream in terror, so feeling fabric against her skin when there was no one beside her definitely did a number on her nerves.
It had felt like...she didn't really know...robes maybe?
She glanced around quickly, but due to her delayed reaction, whatever it had been was long gone. Was it the breeze? Huh. Weird.
The day after that, Tatsuki introduced her to Orihime, who put Lindsay's developed-ness to shame, and Rukia, the one with the gooey romance mangas.
She more or less hit it off with the three, though it took Rukia a while to "decipher" her "strange dialect". Even with that odd statement, neither she nor the other two considered her to be some gang member from America, like the others did. Apparently that was what "Yankee" meant around here...
Why they thought this in the first place, Peyton had no idea. She wasn't exactly the gang-banger type. For crying out loud, she was the one that made fish faces at Mr. Okiwura, her biology teacher, when his back was turned!
Peyton had only been there for about half a week, but she had already noticed how Rukia and that orange-haired guy hung out a lot. Kurosaki kid, right? Almost like they were related or something, though they looked nothing alike. ...Granted, she didn't look anything like Lindsay and Seth, but she still didn't buy it. So, when she was almost a hundred percent sure dad was staying at the morgue late that night (he was the Chief Coroner, the whole reason they moved was so he could take the job), she decided to do some recon.
Which here meant following them with idiotic secretiveness, such as rolling behind buildings and doing cartwheels across alleys for kicks and giggles. But, hey. She wasn't noticed, and she had fun. So...two birds with one stone!
She had just barrel-rolled across another alleyway, stalking them from the shadows as they had some sort of shouting match about something, when she got curious as to what exactly they were arguing about. But before she could get within hearing distance, she heard heavy sighing. Peyton knew that sigh. It was definitely a ghost.
She groaned to herself and quietly stomped towards the restless spirit. "Goddammit..."
"So, lemme make this REEAALL simple," Peyton was calmly saying a few minutes later as she kept a firm grip on the squirming punk under her arm.
"Alright. Now. When there's flowers placed by a pole or a bit of sidewalk, what does this usually mean? Anyone?"
"IT'S AN EASY QUESTION."
"Someone died there!" He yelled quickly. His fellow "gang" members were shaking like leaves.
"Very good, Wise One. Now. Should we disturb said memorials by doing lame skateboard tricks like idiots?"
"And would you agree that they don't deserve to have their memorials wrecked, disturbing their peace? And also interrupting me while I'm busy lurking in the shadows?"
"No ma'am! I-I mean, YES MA'AM!"
"VERY GOOD!" She practically body-slammed him into the concrete. "And it's Yankee to you! Not ma'am, that was my momma!" She yelled as they ran off.
"Y-yes, Yankee chick!"
"Dude, that girl's a freak!"
"For real! You think her and that orange-headed kid team up? This is almost the same spot we got our asses kicked LAST TIME!"
"I wonder if she's single?"
"Shut up! She might hear you!"
"Keep running, dickheads!"
Once they turned the corner, she addressed the poor guy with a cheerful sigh. "There," she said simply, putting his picture back up against the pole. Like the punks, he was a few years older than her. He smiled at Peyton. "Thanks."
Peyton shrugged. "Not a problem. It's a gift, really, my uncanny ability to talk sense into hardcore idiots."
He nodded in agreement. "It really is. Thanks again."
She glanced around. "Yeah. And, uh, sorry about that vase. I found this cool leaf if you want that, and I could stop by and bring some flowers or something tomorrow on my way to school," she offered, setting the leaf under the picture frame to hold it down.
He chuckled. "Sure. Thanks for the leaf. Y'know, you're pretty cute when you're angry."
Peyton grinned. "Well, that's a gift too, I guess. See ya around." He gave her a half-wave before shimmering away.
She let out a contented sigh; she had gotten her rage fix for the day.
"Well. That was interesting."
Peyton nearly jumped ten feet in the air before turning around to give whoever it was an earfull. "You just cut about ten years off my life!" She trailed off when she realized it was the orange-haired guy she had been dumbly following earlier, along with Rukia.
"...Oh. Hey Rukia. And...you."
"Uh, hey Peyton. ...Were you just talking to yourself?"
She laughed nervously. "Psh...what? Of course not, Rukia! I was-I was talking to my friend," she explained quickly.
No one had ever really caught her talking to ghosts since she was eight and had realized they were ghosts, so it had definitely thrown her off guard. Especially with that look the orange-headed kid was giving her.
"Uh-huh...So where are they?"
"Oh, he left before you guys showed up...he's, um, fast," she muttered. Well, he was fast.
"Oh...I see. Well..see you later."
"Bye Rukia. And...you."
They sweatdropped as she left, and Rukia clicked her tongue. "...That explains her spiritual pressure."
"You think?" Kurosaki kid replied, and Peyton flushed as she stomped down the street.
"I can't believe that!" she grumbled to herself once she got home. "Grr! Now I look like an idiot, and slightly schizoprenic! ...But what the hell did she mean by 'spiritual pressure'?"
Over the next few days, Peyton kept being visited by ghost after ghost after ghost. She had never dealt with so many, not even over the course of weeks. Lately it was an average of four a day. And on top of that, she had to catch up on the lessons she'd already missed in her subjects, and apparently, Tennessee curriculum sucked by Karakura Town standards. All of that equaled dark circles under her eyes, even more unkempt hair than usual, and waking up with drool all over her textbooks.
"Gah!" She had fallen asleep in the shower. AGAIN.
Today had had an eery feeling behind it. Like something was bound to attack her at any minute.
She scowled at her paranoia and turned the hot water knob some more. Ahhh. Burning skin never felt so good, she thought to herself with a content sigh. But she turned stiff when she heard a crash right outside the curtain. What the hell?
"Hey, is this Orihime's bathroom?"
"Shut up, you idiot! Just 'cause I'm invisible, doesn't mean you are!"
"So? The water's running, they can't hear me."
"They can when you're yelling! ...Wait...Where the hell's the Hollow?"
"Oh...I was hoping we were paying a visit or something.."
"Kon, I know this is hard, but let's use logic for a second, alright? Focus. Why would I go all Soul Reaper if we were visiting?"
Peyton's brows furrowed. Soul Reaper? Is that some kind of weird Japanese slang for something perverted? Well, since they're standing in my bathroom and being secretive about it, I suppose so...
She slowly clutched the shaving cream that's lid had been left behind in Tennessee somehow. While the morons continued arguing, she pulled back the curtain just enough to poke her head out, make sure her body was still behind it, and let out a yell.
"Take THAT, dumbass PERVERTS!" she screeched, and shaving cream flew everywhere.