Thank you James Birdsong, Ame and Guest for your kind reviews.

My English got better since 2010, so I made some effort to improve grammar in the past chapters, which is why I publish them again.

By the way, let me set something right, For My Conscience Compels Me. I said this is my first fanfic, and it is true. But I might not have mentioned that I am a published author (not in English obviously). And, no, you won't have heard of me, and no, don't even try asking my real name, or I'll write the story so Uttôshii Manuke becomes this fic's wonderful good-hearted main character (aren't you feeling horrified?), and Suoh a meanie who's just jealous of her. Ah, the power a writer has.

Chapter 10 - Do Those Clouds Mean Trouble?

Try as he might, Suoh could not shake the mixed feelings left by his brother's seventh-year funeral. He felt like a storm was brewing, and whether it was inside him or outside, he did not know.

It was all such little things, he could not feel sure whether his life was truly changing or he was imagining things. Sure, Nokoru was still not back to his usual self since he had stopped seeing Uttôshii with any frequency. Sure, Suoh's training was becoming more intensive now he was growing up. Sure, his mother had asked him to stop studying ancient Japanese literature, so he no longer had literature classes. But he could understand that decision: after all, literature was completely useless in order to become a bodyguard with ninja skills. Still, he had kind of believed he would be allowed to do what he wished.

Why had he thought that, he wondered? The older Takamura did not specialize in anything but martial arts. Did he think it would be any different for his own generation? Did he think his mother would be particularly understanding because of what his older brother had gone through? She always had shown consideration for his feelings, up to now. Not that Suoh cared overmuch about literature, anyway. He had simply been good at it.

Suoh could not pursue that line of thought any longer because at that moment, Akira entered the student council room.

"Good morning, Takamura-senpai", Akira called brightly.

Suoh smiled.

"Good morning, Ijûin."

"Where is Kaichô?" Akira inquired.

"Who knows? Investigating a cat ghost? Being kidnapped? Taxing my patience? Have a guess."

Akira laughed while Suoh went back to clicking at his computer.

"Takamura-senpai, are you perhaps out of temper?"

"No, I am only joking", Suoh reassured him without lifting his eyes from the screen. "But I might become a trifle mad if he does not show up before the end of the afternoon."

"No clues as to where he might be?

"None, thank God. I am in no mood for a wild goose-chase."

Akira viewed the towers of paperwork, and sighed.

"Sometimes I kind of wish these papers would not need to be stamped by Kaichô before they go out", he admitted.

"You are expressing my one and only wish of the past years."

Akira laughed.

"Well, I will just get to work and add to those piles, I guess. Anyway, I have a hunch Kaichô will be here in time for cream cake."

"If it is one of yours, he undoubtedly will."

Akira blushed.

"Thank you, Takamura-senpai!"

Still typing, Suoh smiled. Akira's presence was relaxing. He had all but forgotten his worries.