I stare at the pitted and graffiti-marred surface of the desk, the faux-wood grain seeming to blend into a wriggling mass of contorted lines, praying to achieve the impossible and dissolve into the tacky, coarse carpeting. It's a vaguely comforting to visualize it, reduced to a frothing trickle, vanishing in an instant, though it hardly erases the soaring, acid agony that churns within my stomach. My hands clench upon my thighs, and I realize that perhaps a more worthwhile focus of my prayers is upon the results of that examination.

'Please, please, please...' I realize that it's unlikely that there's a deity of Intermediate Algebra, but it can't possibly harm me to-

"And, Miss Rockwaller. What a surprise." Damn you, God of Intermediate Algebra. I can't believe that a smile quirks briefly upon my taut lips at that, though it evaporates as I notice the prominent 'F' emblazoned upon the sheet of paper. It seems to contain a larger amount of red ink than even my own furious navy scribbles, struggling to coax solutions to incomprehensible equations that are as indecipherable as mankind's most insoluble philosophical quandaries. Perhaps even beyond why they selected that stuck-up cow for the head cheerleader. I can't believe the ease with which this upsets me; I feel my jaw tremble, and I strain to suppress the mild prickle of tears misting in my eyes. It's not my fault; I can't even begin to understand this, regardless of how I struggle.

"Most of you, however, did better, and I'm very pleased." What a bitch. How dare she single me out, regardless of how frustrated she may be by her perpetual spinster status and miserable complexion? Standing before her students, she delivers these pronouncements as if she's an Imperatrix delivering divine dictates upon her subjects. I manage a brief glance at her; that horrid, graying beehive hair- what a stupid relic of the fifties. That idiotic pantsuit. That savage, steely gaze, unforgiving, delighting in my misery.

"It's just math." I realize that my lips are moving of their own accord, a desperately defiant proclamation tearing itself from my mouth before I can restrain it. "I mean, who'll ever use a quadratic equation?"

"People whose careers won't involve the phrase, 'Would you like fries with that?'" I sag again at that; I don't bother with any further snide retorts. I don't bother to explain that I'm dyslexic, that the jumbles of numbers are as coherent as Ancient Greek in reverse.

"Gee, Bonnie, I thought that you might be prepared for that one, after she gave us two weeks to study." It's Kim, typically, brandishing some meaningless token of approval from a high school instructor who personifies that Woody Allen aphorism. "I mean, if you averaged my grade with yours, I still don't think you'd have a chance of passing." A few vapid laughs from her dim-witted boy-toy, that tow-headed, freckled idiot, who somehow can't restrain himself from gazing longingly at my chest whenever he believes I don't notice it.

"Well, let's think about this, Kim. If you averaged the number of-"

"That's enough, girls." Of course, the instructor would 'intervene' the instant that I begin to reply. "Miss Rockwaller, I'd like you to stay after. We need to discuss this." Of course, she'd single me out for ridicule. I can feel the eyes upon me; those that resent me, those that hate me, those that feign friendship and await the instant at which they can deliver a few convenient blows to the back.

"Sure, Miss Hexe." How appropriate- it's German for 'witch'. "It's not like I don't have anything better to do." Drenched with facetiousness, though it's obvious that she doesn't care. The comment engenders merely a brief, derisive glower, and I simply gaze blandly at my desk as she begins to prattle on about such trifles as quadratic formulae and polynomials. There's no cause to even glance at the board; the shimmering, distorted streams of digits are totally beyond my grasp, and adding a few random variables to them ensures that it would be simpler to actually look through the blackboard than understand what's written upon it.

It isn't fair. It's really not. It's not as if I don't read, no matter how difficult it was for me to manage that with no support and no assistance. I read constantly, even if I'd never admit that to anyone for reasons that are genuinely beyond my understanding. It's probably the reason for which I tailor my speech to sound like the other students; it's probably why I can't even muster the courage to look like I care about my studies, about not just being the one singled out by the professor whenever the math tests are distributed. The time progresses agonizingly as I strive to avoid being noticed, and, most dreadfully, tasked with resolving one of the equations. Hexe is prone to deliberately appointing me to the most challenging equations, even the ones that would be difficult for the students who think that math is anything but a colossal bore and squandering of their time.

Today is uneventful, however; I simply reflect upon what I read yesterday evening, curled beneath my comforters and squinting at the fine lettering beneath the dusky gleam of the bedside lamps whose bulb probably dates from the late neolithic. It was a study of the Spanish Civil War. Even if I can read well, it's agonizingly ponderous as I read and re-read everything to be certain that I actually understood it correctly; the book is awaiting me this evening beneath my mattress, secreted away as if it's porn. It's probably more taboo in my household than pornography; for me, anyway, given the expectations from my mom and sisters. It's entertaining to read of what a pretentious asshole Hemingway was, especially after hearing Mister Barkin lionize him as a hero in the literature course that he's as qualified to teach as astrophysics.

The bell resounds, a harsh, jarring, metallic resonance, and I instinctively jolt to my feet, mechanically gathering my pack until I confront a steely declaration of, "Miss Rockwaller?"

"Y-yeah, sure." I mutter, setting my satchel upon the floor beside my seat again. I realize that I'm anchored there, glowering at that vibrant crimson 'F' accentuated with such unnecessary cruelty upon my examination.

"Come here, please, Miss Rockwaller." She's overtly exasperated, as if she's any cause to whine. I'm not the one incapable of actually teaching her student anything worthwhile.

"Yes." We're alone; I've no cause for silly posturing or petulance. My heart throbs torturously, and an acid welter has risen into my stomach. This is mortifying. I shuffle towards her, that miserable sow, perched before her ostentatiously vast executive desk; it seems as if that's the destination of our district's funding. Certainly not their educational program.

"Miss Rockwaller, you know why I kept you after class, don't you?"

"Yeah." I swallow harshly; her eyes are locked unfalteringly with mine. She glowers at me, scrutinizing me as if I'm a blight upon her very existence. As if I don't even belong upon this planet with her.

"Then, I'm sure that it will come as no surprise to you that I have doubts that you'll even graduate from my class this year." Precisely what I crave so desperately from her- an opportunity to relive this waking nightmare for another year.

"B-but-" I begin to protest; she silences me with an upraised palm.

"There's nothing that you can say that will change my mind. Your grade-point is the issue." Why does this even matter? Can anyone sincerely claim that the bulk of politicians, historians, journalists- hell, even educators- precisely derived their talents from a high school mathematics course?

"T-then-"

"What can you do?" Why must she interrupt me? "I would tell you to study, but I can see that it isn't working for you." I blink perplexedly at that. "I know that you're trying, and I know that it isn't working. The scribbling on your paper isn't only cosmetic, and you wouldn't stay behind until after the bell on examination days if you were just pretending." She leans forward; her expression doesn't soften in the slightest, though the uncharacteristic understanding manifest in her words is more off-putting than the sprouting of tentacles and a second head.

"So, um, what are you trying to tell me?" I feel dazed, and positively ill with the notion of repeating this year, much less of what hideous ambush she'll probably spring upon me when I've been lulled into a false sense of security by this performance.

"I think that you need a tutor." My face falls. Of all possible suggestions, she'd naturally insist upon the most humiliating one. I don't need another human being to discover how disoriented I am, how it's nearly impossible for me to even understand an equation unless I read, reread, and reread it until the image itself is indelibly etched into my mind and vision.

"A-are you sure? Can't, can't I just move to an easier subject, or-"

"This is the lowest for this grade-level, Miss Rockwaller. I don't think that you need to be in remedial mathematics; I think that you just have problems with learning this the conventional way." She folds her hands upon the flawlessly-varnished surface of her table, and draws a deep, sighing breath. "It's either this, or I'll hold you back, because you already have a failing grade and I don't think that you can turn it around unless you start scoring hundreds from this point until the end of the year."

"O-okay." I swallow sharply. I realize that my hands are trembling, and that my knees seem to have been replaced with gelatin by some mischievous creature. I wish that I could collapse and awaken in more congenial surroundings, like the morgue. "So, um, who's- who's the lucky tutor?" My lips are trembling, and my voice wavers pitifully; that feeble attempt at humor renders it all the more pathetic. I would very much wish to simply collapse into a sobbing fit.

"It's one of our new transfer students. Have you met Yori Norikawa?" I blink perplexedly at that for a moment; it's vaguely familiar, though I can't quite recall from where. Then, naturally, it strikes me with the force of a wayward semi. I have heard her name; it's that Japanese girl that's perpetually with Kim and her freak boyfriend.

"I... Not really." I've never seen her in any of my courses.

"She's a very advanced student, so I think that she'll be able to help you." Oh, wonderful. She's probably capable of mental calculus while blindfolded.

"I... I suppose so." A noncommittal whimper is the most emphatic agreement that I can muster at present. As mortifying as it is to rely upon one of Kim's circle of losers, it's boundlessly more humiliating to be taking this class again with younger students. I've a nightmare image of being confined to this eternal hell when I'm thirty, and it propels me to a more decisive, "I hope so."

"I thought that you'd see the wisdom in this. You can just ask her today if you see her, or I'll have her call you this evening." That seems to be the conclusion of any discernibly civil exchange, as her severe, penetrating eyes plunge from me to a sheaf of papers set before her. "Is there anything else?"

"N-no." I shake my head unnecessarily, the auburn fringes of my hair briefly flitting before my vision. "Um, what's her name again?" I inquire with a mounting torment. I can barely think, my heart racing and my mind bleary with an incredible jumble of miserable emotions.

"Yori Norikawa." A terse, impatient response. "Good afternoon, Miss Rockwaller."

"Y-yeah. Uh, good afternoon." I manage, before deftly turning and avidly sweeping my satchel from the floor, hefting it onto one shoulder. I can't believe the astronomical swell of relief that rushes through me upon emerging from that oppressive, intellectually stultifying oblivion, but it's not as if it's any true release; if anything, it affirms that I'll be surrounded constantly by incoherent seas of numbers until that hag decides that I've suffered enough for her satisfaction. There's little relief for me, in general. Lunch awaits; it's another opportunity for an altercation with Kim, with the inevitable, hooting idiocy from the assembled Y chromosomes. It's another opportunity to parade about for the sake of the girls that treat me as a leader of convenience, eternally awaiting the day that they can safely turn the knife and unseat me. It's another opportunity to be 'Bonnie', whoever the hell that is.

I realize that I'm simply ignoring my surroundings, immersed in my ruminations, when I'm confronted with a curious, disorienting litany of events and senses; the hollow thump of flesh upon flesh, a nightmare welter of pain streaming through my nose, and a curious impression of weightlessness before a crushing blow against my skull and a lovely glimpse of the chewing gum that some enterprising fellow managed to affix to the ceiling tiles ten feet above me.

"O-ow... Who- who the hell?" It emerges as an incoherent groan, but I intend for it to be archly accusatory; the fire that I intend to dispatch in streaming torrents from my eyes is probably a sputtering flicker.

"Ah, I'm sorry. Are- are you all right?" It's a slightly awkward approach to the English language, as if its speaker never quite grasped the proper application of her vowels and harsh consonants. It's nevertheless gentle, spoken with a quiet dignity that doesn't quite diminish my desire to skewer her with an imaginary spear.

"Do I look like I'm all right?" I snap to the disembodied voice beyond my immediate perception; a hand rises into view, and I bat it irately away, rising to my feet with a grace merely slightly impeded by the vague sense of a concussion. "Just who the hell do you think you are, running into me like that?" I growl, my brain presently host to an exceptionally rambunctious headache.

"I- I'm very, very sorry," she's a bit of a difficulty with her 'R's, whoever she is, "But I think that you ran into me." It's not precisely an apology so much as it is an earnest expression of regret that I collided with her while bearing the belief that she'd stricken me.

"Do you know who I am?" Yes, hail and bow before the might of Queen Bonnie. It's such unnecessary arrogance and bombast that it would be utterly humiliating if it didn't enjoy such a reliable reception.

"Uh... No, not really." The crimson haze before my eyes recedes with sufficient intensity for me to finally register the image before me. She's quite striking, actually; my height, willowy, a lustrous and shimmering fall of raven tresses bobbed around her chin. Her features are rounded, heart-shaped, of a dark complexion and Asiatic cast; her eyes are of a fine almond contour, rather large, and a severe ebony. She brandishes an appeasing smile upon her lips, focusing a rather expectant gaze upon me. She's clad in a simple black skirt and tautly-clinging T-shirt, which prominently accentuates her sleek form. "So, uh, not to be rude, but what is your name?" I suppose that I shouldn't fault her for her ignorance, though I've every intention of doing so; it's an unconscious compulsion, now, hardwired into my very social sensibilities. It's an issue of noblesse oblige.

"It's Bonnie. Are you stupid, or something? Or is it just that you've had your head buried in the sand for about the last two years?" I should be embarrassed to address anyone in that fashion; it seems so pathetic that it feels that natural.

"I..." She seems mildly perplexed, though there's no overt suggestion of offense. "My name is Norikawa Yori. Or, as you say here, Yori Norikawa." Oh, wonderful. "Is this just another American-style joke, acting like you hate me for no reason? It is... It is not very funny." Is she that obtuse?

"Ah, yeah, sure. Um, my name is Bonnie." I've my most earnest doubts that she actually believed that, but it's not as if I can afford to completely alienate my future tutor with foolish sincerity. "Bonnie Rockwaller."

"Ah. A pleasure to meet you." She cants herself forward in a mild bow, merely a slight inclination of her posture. She eyes me with a certain expectation before it seems to occur to her that bowing isn't precisely commonplace in this culture. Forcing an exaggeratedly appeasing smile upon her lips, she extends her hand in an even more anachronistic gesture.

"Sure." Following a few instants, I grudgingly grasp her hand; she pumps mine weakly, as if simply duplicating what she's seen from a half-remembered film. "I... Not to be rude," as if that's ever bothered me lately, "But, I think that I need to ask you something."

"Ah." It's a noncommittal grunt, accompanied by a gentle bob of her head, the sleek strands of her hair swaying gracefully around her face at the motion. I blink with a certain incomprehension until I realize that our conversation has stalled, and that she seems to be awaiting clarification.

"Um, are, are you a math tutor?" I struggle with that sentence, straining to prevent my teeth from simply grinding closed and stifling the exodus of those hated words.

"I am." No further commentary.

"Um..." Either she's determined to render this a mortifying nightmare for me, or she truly has no inkling of what I'm addressing. "I- I think that I need your help." She immediately brightens at that, as if that sentiment is the very lever of her psyche.

"Oh, truly? I would be so happy to help you, Bonnie-san." If nothing else, I recognize that honorific, though it's incredibly uncomfortable.

"Really?" I struggle to conceal my abject disappointment at that; I'd rather entertained the now-futile hope that an unwilling tutor would equal a passing grade, simply for the sheer embarrassment of the school district at being unable to teach one of their students. "You- you can call me 'Bonnie', though."

"I... Cannot. That, uh, would be very rude." She seems to be struggling against some fundamental impulse, and failing.

"Should I call you 'Yori-san', then?" I offer awkwardly.

"Yori-chan." She delivers what seems an almost dementedly exaggerated smile. "You are one year older, are you not?"

"I... I suppose." I shrug uncertainly. "I'm seventeen."

"And I am sixteen. Thus, please, call me 'Yori-chan'." She seems emphatically insistent upon that, and I don't resist.

"Okay, uh, Yori-chan?" It's awkward; I wish that she'd simply realize that I don't care about honorifics or politeness. "So, what should we do about our tutoring?"

"Well, Bonnie-san," she pauses pensively. "What do you have to do tonight?" Tonight? Immediately?

"Um, cheerleading practice." That's non-negotiable. If I'm to maintain any standing, no matter how little I can actually bring myself to earnestly care about the results, I can't abandon that. I also can't allow Kim, that stuck-up bitch, to think that she's won anything. Or that they've kicked me off of the team for my mathematical misadventures.

"And, when is that?" Her countenance has become irritatingly, blandly congenial, as if she's simply raised a properly pleasant mask; it's impenetrable. Even if I were to bare my teeth and begin hooting and screeching in some simian display of dominance, she'd probably just continue to stare at me.

"From, uh," I'm so accustomed to that being my sole activity I've forgotten what the time actually is. "From four to six, I think."

"That is very good. Then, we can study, yes?" Oh, yes. How glorious that is. I could be reading, or continuing my practice, but that just seems leagues beyond any of those options in sheer entertainment value.

"Sure." It's obvious how apathetic I am towards that, but it doesn't seem to discourage her in the slightest. That fixed, practice smile simply endures infinitely.

"So, Bonnie-san, before we even begin, I do have a few questions for you." What? Why now?

"Er, um, what about lunch, Yori- ah, Yori-chan?" I'm desperate to be rid of this rigid mathematics freak, but her eyes abruptly alight with an unaccountable elation.

"Truly? I would be honored to have lunch with you, Bonnie-san. We can discuss the details of our tutoring over what delights your, uh... Your canteen? What it has to offer." Canteen? I gather that she hasn't quite studied English in the depth that she has mathematics. My immediate, intuitive compulsion is to dismiss her with a lengthy and meaningless lecture upon the dynamics of popularity, but it occurs to me that she controls my educational future, and I don't particularly wish for her to persuade me that an equation's correct when it's the equivalent of two and two being eleven.

"S-sure." I muster a ridiculously extreme, rictus smile; she doesn't seem to notice my total disingenuousness, or she simply doesn't care. "Uh, do you know where the cafeteria is?" I will not refer to it as a 'canteen'; this isn't the military or some old-west cow town.

"Yes, I do. I must admit that I have not yet dined there yet; this will be an interesting experiment." I quirk an eyebrow inquisitively.

"An experience, you mean?"

"That, too." With a bemused sigh, I begin to shuffle onwards, with my already limited enthusiasm deadened to a solemn ebb, towards that hallowed exhibition ground of the high school social order. The popular table, the nerd table, the freak table, the chess-club table. Hell, even a table reserved for Kim and her creepy crony, never mind that sickening pink rat-thing. Yori remains in lock-step with me, seemingly deliberately tailoring every stride to correspond with mine, albeit a pace or so behind me; it's an unnervingly polite gesture- I assume that it's intended to be polite-, and I'm upon the verge of snapping when my hands finally fall upon the door's broad steel push-handle. The burnished, gleaming bar is slightly warm and noxiously clammy from the various other students, but I nonetheless shove open the door- albeit with a nauseated scowl-, contemplating whether it would be appalling to simply allow it to slam in her face. That would probably annoy her, however, which impels me to actually bother with an almost unthinkable politeness, ushering her through with a vaguely chivalrous sweep of my arm.

"Oh, thank you, Bonnie-san." She seems elated by that, her voice rising a full octave; I earnestly hope that I haven't been seen.

"Hey, Bonnie!" I cringe, steeling myself for a clash of cultures.

"Hey, Theresa." She bounds to me, seizing my arm in a hopelessly insincere, vice-grip embrace, beginning to drag me with an utterly manufactured exuberance towards my characteristic seat with the other cheerleaders. She's blonde, authentically vapid, and a scheming sociopath with a regard solely for the popularity gleaned from membership in the squad, eternally jockeying for position with various machinations and backstabs. She'd probably agree that she were classically Machiavellian if she didn't think that it was an Italian wine.

"I, uh, can't sit with you guys today." Yori is presently staring curiously at me; I turn to her with an appeasing smile, before returning to Theresa, lowering my voice as I speak. "Listen... I'm just babysitting a nerd for awhile until they give me a passing grade in math, okay?" I force a contempt into my voice that inspires a certain vestigial sense of shame as I discuss Yori.

"Oh, sure, Bonnie. We'll save a seat for you." She chirps, as if she's not ecstatic that I'm away. Every moment that I'm not asserting my control is a second that she can connive against me. I narrow my eyes at her as she saunters away, ridiculously truncated ultramarine skirt and top pilfered from my wardrobe from the past week.

"Why do we not just sit with your friends?" Yori approaches me again, gazing inquisitively at the collection of cheerleaders assembled around my table.

Because, you'd ruin my standing in about two seconds, foreign girl. "Because, I don't think I could concentrate with them around. I, um, I'm not that good with math."

"Oh." As if that weren't obvious from my need for a tutor. "Well, that's probably a good idea." I've the niggling sense that she doesn't entirely believe me, though there are no further words.

"Hey, Bonnie, I heard that you did great on your math exam today." I grit my teeth, turning to confront my interlocutor, whose features transform from obnoxiously snide to terror-stricken in the instant that he confronts my expression. It's a combination of the Medusa, Stalin on a poor afternoon, and a very angry, very underfed model; he wilts.

"Did you, Stoppable?" I seethe rather dangerously. "I heard that there was a dumb blonde kid that wanted his lights put out." I step forward; an arm rises between us, though it's not his arrogant girlfriend that rears up to protect him. I realize that it's Yori; the limb that separates us is sleek, subtly muscled. My glower shifts to her briefly, before returning to Stoppable.

"We are all friends here, yes? Please, let us not fight. Do not be rude to Bonnie-san, Ron-san." Naturally, he can't even defend himself; even the exchange student fights his battles.

"Uh, sure, Yori." He avails himself of the opportunity to ease guiltily away, his hands raised appeasingly. "So, um, yeah- I'm, uh, just gonna go sit somewhere."

"Why did you protect that little freak?" I can't contain my anger; I'm upon the brink of attacking her, as well, however undignified that would be for someone of my standing.

"Because, violence solves nothing. Do not worry what anyone else thinks- personal honor derives from a sound understanding and acceptance of oneself." I roll my eyes at the hack philosophy.

"Sure." It's a spiteful reply, and I briefly consider adding where I'd encourage her to place that fortune-cookie shit, but decide against it.

"So, let us have lunch, and we can discuss this." I acquiesce, not bothering to discuss it any further; we ease toward the queue, which has thinned significantly, the bulk of the other students having claimed what somehow can legally be considered food. Even 'food-product' seems dubious, given the unrecognizable, gray-hued sludge that quavers upon one of the trays; another brandishes a shuddering cluster of mucous-green gelatin, rigid and mildly encrusted.

"So, um, is this American-style food?" Yori seems distinctly appalled, and it's one of the few moments in which I can actually feel a sense of commonality with her.

"It's..." I contemplate that for a moment. "It's something. Close your eyes, and just think that it's... What do you like to eat?"

"It does not make me think of sashimi from the river, fresh miso soup, and rice." She gazes disdainfully at the gray sludge. "Pardon me," she inadvisably addresses a query to the white-smocked attendant, presently glowering at us with an expression the students reserve for the hideous slop that she slings. She's crude, stout, and overtly bellicose; her florid and slightly porcine features are eternally warped into a countenance of utter loathing for us. It's a mutual sentiment. I've always suspected that she's bald beneath that hideous cap that adorns her bulbous brow. "What is this?" Yori gestures to the sludge.

"Turkey surprise." It's a terse, snapping retort. "Comes with the green jello for dessert. You want some, or not?"

"I, I will. Yes." She seems to be conjuring the requisite courage to even visualize herself partaking of it, much less consuming even a fragment of that miserable filth.

"And you, Bonnie?" She growls.

"Yes." I gaze yearningly at a long-depleted tray labeled 'Lasagna'. Yori unleashes a brief yelp of startlement as Doris, the lunchlady, heaves a clot of the monstrous 'turkey surprise'- the surprise is the digestive disorder that you develop- onto her plate; the ocher tray that she clutches sags in her grasp, though she seems remarkably resilient.

"Uh, please, none of your jello." Yori manages that with an uncanny politeness, though her eyes seem glazed with what I only imagine would be recognizable to a psychiatrist who specializes in trauma patients.

"Best part of the meal." Doris ignores her entreaties, and a slab of jello suctions to her plate with a sickening steadfastness. Yori shuffles off in a post-traumatic daze as I receive my own portion of gastronomic torture. I join her in a moment, conjuring a slight trace of pity for her- I suppose that I should have warned her. Oh, well.

"It's totally sick, isn't it?" Totally. Oh, my god. Why did I say that? I don't think in those terms, so why do I spew that valley-girl nonsense?

"Uh, yes. Completely." In this instance, though, I suppose that 'partially sick' doesn't really capture it. "Very, very much. Is, is this edible?"

"That's the surprise." I offer ever-so-cleverly, guiding her towards a suitably uninhabited table. A few peons scatter from it, clutching textbooks and stacks of some sort of cards; their exodus yields a bemused expression from Yori.

"Do they not like us?"

"They just know enough not to sit with us. That's all." I explain, which seems totally incomprehensible to her. I pluck the slightly-tarnished fork from beside the plate upon the tray, lifting it to my meal; it remains poised above it, and I genuinely contemplate the likelihood of this inflicting some terrible disease upon me. I mean, it's probably pasteurized. Right?

"I... I suppose so. Um, not to be rude, but do you eat this everyday?" Yori spears a portion of the coagulated mass of what may or may not be turkey suspended in a vague facsimile of gravy. With a quiet grunt of effort, a portion sloughs off from the core; it conjures the image of some hellish culinary mitosis.

"If I can't avoid it. It's gross, right?" I may as well be amicable with her.

"V-very." She shudders; the turkey surprise upon her fork quivers in an eerie synchrony. She finally raises it to her lips, parting them with the utmost trepidation, before she thrusts the fork between them; it seems to be the final, terse act of a suicide. She begins a lengthy, tortured mastication, once, twice, before... Ugh... It sails past my face- my reflexes preclude me from suffering a spurt of it to the cheek-, spattering damply upon the linoleum behind me. "I, I am so sorry." She's mortified, issuing a strained apology even as she begins to cough with a desperate intensity, struggling to purge every trace of that hideous flavor from her mouth. "Oh, my, that- that is so terrible. So awful. Forgive me for being rude, but I cannot eat this." I set aside my fork, as well. They've finally achieved total inedibility; it was inevitable.

"It's- it's all right." Better you, I suppose. I prod lightly at my gelatin; it responds with a desultory jolt, and comes to rest in an instant. "This jello's had it, too."

"I will not even try it. I am sorry, Bonnie-san, but... I will be sick if I eat any of this." She inclines her head sharply in a slight bow, and I simply shrug in reply.

"Hey, it's okay. I don't think that I will, either. I've never really been a huge fan of turkey surprise." Any 'surprise', actually.

"Now... Now that we have, um, eaten," she smiles guiltily, "Shall we discuss our tutoring arrangement?" My face falls at that, every trace of amusement from her turkey surprise ordeal evaporating.

"Sure."

"I am sorry. Is something the matter?" She tilts her head curiously.

"No. Um, don't worry about it." A brief, insincere flicker of a grin. "I just hate math."

"Oh." She seems wounded by that. "But, why? It- it is so wonderful, isn't it? Numbers and letters, making a poetry of equations?"

"I... I just can't do it." It may be poetry for her; for me, it's as elegant and approachable as foreign language composed of unpronounceable and unreadable words, each jumbled into an indecipherable code.

"You can't? What do you mean?" Is she stupid?

"I mean, Yori-"

"Yori-chan." She corrects, which causes my blood to blaze dangerously towards a full, rolling boil.

"Yori-chan," I snap, "I mean that I don't understand anything beyond the multiplication table and long-division. I don't know why 'A' and 'B' equal 'C', and I've never cared that much."

"Oh. That is unfortunate. Mathematics can be very beautiful." She seems to perceive some sublime glory in oceans of numbers. I'm increasingly suspecting that she may not be entirely human. "And, 'A' and 'B' do not always equal 'C'." So very literal. "For instance-"

"I..." I don't care! I don't care! "I'm glad that you're willing to help me. Um, I've really been having troubles with quadratic equations." She fixes me with an expression of the utmost curiosity, as if it's spectacularly abnormal to even consider that a challenge.

"You mean, you have difficulty with something that simple?" I can feel my ire rising further. Do I remark upon her total incapacity to speak English as if she didn't learn it from a brain-damaged android? I have no reply, beyond an earnest longing to plant my fist into her face. As it is, my hands clench upon my thighs; I realize that a mild shudder is streaming through me, and I'm very near to crying. Even she believes that I'm an idiot for being unable to manage that. Is it really that simple? Can even toddlers complete quadratics in their sleep?

"Yes." I finally grind out between clenched teeth.

"O-oh." Perhaps it finally occurs to her that she's been criminally insensitive. "Well, there- there is nothing wrong with that. I, I am sure that I have difficulty in things in which you hold expertise." What the hell is wrong with her? "What, uh, do you like?"

"Can we just talk about the tutoring, please?" My voice is suddenly an emotional void; I've withdrawn into the comforting oblivion that I've cultivated from seventeen years with my despicable sisters.

"Oh, okay." She nods agreeably; perhaps even that social retardate understands how offensive that was. "Well, um, we can begin this evening. I think that we should start by reviewing-" A savage tremor rips through me as something dense, damp, and gelid clings to the hundred-dollar shirt that I purchased yesterday- well, my sister did, actually; thank you for your credit card, sis. It spatters weightily to the floor, and a familiar, obnoxious laugh titters above the sudden onset of ominous silence. "Ano..."

"All right! Who just did that?" I surge to my feet, lunging upon the bench seat, my balance compensating for the less than secure footing provided by my heeled boots. My eyes, narrowed and blazing, instantly focus upon Stoppable, presently cowering behind his haughty little girlfriend. That putrid, pink rat is clasped in his hand, and I'm certain that its tiny tongue snakes out to deliver a raspberry. "That's it! I'm gonna kill you, Sto-" My psychotic outburst is interrupted by a sudden, jarring realization that the floor should not be squelching and gelid. My arms pinwheel desperately around me, struggling to right myself, but my final sight for the moment is of the bleached white of the ceiling, before darkness overtakes me.

"Are you awake?" It's a gentle, feminine intonation, slightly foreign. It's angelic, caressing my senses, my sight hopelessly devoured by the certain oblivion of the grave. Is this death? It could definitely be a great deal worse; it could be an eternity of Kim's talent show performance. It could even involve math. "I'm- I'm sorry, Bonnie-san." My angel- or is it a Valkyrie?- is Japanese? There's nothing the matter with that- Asian girls are cute. "I... I didn't see it until the last second, and I-" Why is my Japanese Valkyrie still speaking? Didn't see what? "Will you wake up, please?" I feel a tender warmth upon my shoulder, lightly, tentatively grazing across my throat, to my cheek.

"Gurgle." The intended words were, 'Am I dead?' Apparently, my mouth isn't that eager to comply in the afterlife. I suppose that I have denied it its desires on occasion.

"Oh, you're awake. I'm so glad. I carried you to the nurse's office, with help from your friend. She is very nice." My brows furrow at that, but I'm not yet able to open my eyes. Theresa carried me? Carol? Rachel? Sonya? They volunteered to assist? I could visualize their stabbing me with forks while unconscious, but probably not hefting me to the nurse. "Kim-san is very kind." Kim?

"Kim?" I cough hoarsely, forcing open my eyes. I'm virtually blinded by the insufferable glare that assails me, but I struggle to rise until delicate hands effortlessly restrain me.

"Yes. Kim-san. She is very nice. She offered to aid me, even when the other students were laughing. They were not very helpful." I groan at that, acutely conscious of the loss in status this will entail. Felled by turkey surprise. This will not improve my standing. "Do you not know Kim-san? She acted as if you were friends." What a laugh that is. Being anchored together for a few days notwithstanding, I don't suspect that she'd be willing to touch me with a ten-foot pole, and that sentiment is definitely mutual.

"We're not." I growl, and pool the whole of my strength in another effort at rising. It's more successful, particularly as she doesn't arrest me; I manage a marginal measure of grace as I curl into an awkward seated position, cradling my forehead in my palms with the onset of a monstrous headache. "Ow..."

"You are very lucky. The nurse says that you probably don't have a concussion; you were just unconscious for a little while."

"How long?" I demand archly.

"Um, it is..." She pauses for an instant. "It's three-forty-five." In the afternoon? What?

"I need to get up." To hell with a head injury. This is a matter of prestige, of station. Of ensuring that Kim doesn't remain head cheerleader, that she doesn't maintain that position despite her total ineptitude, her complete lack of inspiration and talent. The cheerleading is meaningless to me; it's a matter of pride and accomplishment, of being acknowledged as a leader, as being first. If I'd chosen the chess club, or even French club, I'm sure that Kim would be there, clashing with me, striving to snatch away my recognition.

"You- you have been unconscious for a long time. Shouldn't you rest?" Has she never had a rival, an adversary that must defeated for the universe to finally be right again?

"I need to get to practice. I'll probably be late as it is, and Kim will probably whine at me about it." I snarl to my immediate surroundings, no longer entirely focused upon the Japanese girl; her naivete, her total indifference to my plight, has begun to irritate me. Being adorable doesn't compensate.

"Ah, all right." She eases away, peering at me with a rather dubious expression. I lurch to my feet, with a certain difficulty, and concentrate upon maintaining my balance. Following a few steps, it's not unduly challenging, though I realize that I've a shadow as I burst from the nurse's office, long since abandoned by any responsible adults, into the virtually barren corridors, occupied by several tiny clusters of stragglers.

"What're you doing?" I snap at her, not slowing in the slightest, though she's no difficulty in equaling my pace.

"I'm coming with you. I'm very curious about what you like to do; I think it may be helpful in our tutoring." I risk a glance at her, and she's gazing at me with a zealot's delight. Is there anything that occupies her but study?

"Fine." It's not as if we lack spectators, though the bulk of them are of the salivating male persuasion; perhaps she'll be more polite. The gymnasium is conveniently near, and the door clatters open as I plunge my palms into the release bar, erupting into its clamorous, glaringly-lit core. The others are already assembled, partaking of the standard preparatory exercises, limbering with a deliberate, graceful focus. Their uniforms are typically pleasing, miniscule skirts and well-tailored tops, an abundance of taut female flesh upon open display. Her idiot boyfriend is present, as well, that imbecilic, slavering mascot, rabidly frothing, somehow managing to appear distinctly chastened as I storm onto the quietly-squeaking floor.

"Hey, Bonnie, shouldn't you be resting?" Kim approaches- well, bounds to me. Naturally, she'd be determined to ensure that I can't compete, that she'll overshadow the others so completely that their tiny brains will be completely overawed.

"I'm fine, Kim." I growl.

"Listen, I'm sorry about Ron. It, it was a dumb-"

"Leave it." I don't desire her insincere apologies or explanations. I resist the temptation to kick apart the locker room door, wrenching it open and stamping to my locker. "Stupid Kim. Stupid-ass Stoppable." I tear away my shirt, noticing with considerable horror a prominent, gray streak of turkey surprise smeared across the back; the brassier follows, and I sigh with the momentary relaxation of the strain, though it will be replaced by an infinitely harsher one soon. I kick away my boots, and unclasp my jeans, lowering them to my feet; the whole of them I diligently fold, setting them within my locker, from which I extricate the uniform.

The gold and violet pattern inspires a certain delight for me; it's a realm in which I'm expected to excel, and in which I do, a certain inexplicable head cheerleader notwithstanding. I swiftly ease into it, donning the white tennis shoes in an instant. I clear my mind of distractions, and vault into the gymnasium, a blaring, thumping rhythm instantly assailing me. They've already begun rehearsing one of the routines, which I don't appreciate.

"What do you think you're doing?" I snap at the obvious culprit, presently inverted, tumbling into the embrace of my alleged friends and minions; she bounds from their arms, landing with a flourish that I grudgingly admit isn't totally lacking grace.

"We're starting. Geeze, it took you long enough to dress." The apologies have vanished, it would seem. I glance toward the bleachers, noticing Yori, chin perched upon her upraised palms, staring dreamily at us.

"Well, I'm dressed now, Kim, so you can kiss your head spot goodbye." I retort, before lunging into the fray. It's a celeritous, elegant display, coordinated leaps and deft, fluid contortions. I love this, my heart racing, blood cascading through me. I love this sense, surrounded by the channeled energy of the others, of my own labors, focused upon the most intricate maneuvers possible. Sweat-drenched skin, flushed and glistening beneath the glowering lights; chests heaving; a total, absolute intensity of physicality. Every nerve is alight, hypersensitive in the extreme; time virtually slows for me; the universe's mysteries seem nearly accessible to me, every detail so profoundly, powerfully accentuated in the tumbling, leaping bodily poetry.

I love this; I dance, sway, flow, feeling the eyes upon me, my body, my splendor as I move. It's not even a competition any longer; there is no competition. At last, a final, gasping pivot, and we halt. Perspiration begins to cool upon my forehead; I realize that my cheeks are ablaze; my lungs ache; I struggle to preserve this posture as every trace of energy ebbs away in nearly a post-orgasmic height.

"That was good. See you all tomorrow." Wait. What? My eyes rake across the stadium; the spectators, save for one, are departing. I glance at the fuchsia watch lashed to my wrist. It's six-oh-eight? I feel as if I'll collapse from grief, denied that sublime joy of utter physical abandon. My reality begins again, and I'm not certain if I can cope, withdrawing from that narcotic bliss of that routine. The warmth, the intimacy, the total oneness with everything.

"Wow. That was really impressive." A voice rises above the quiet screech of soles upon the finely-polished floor. It's Yori; she hasn't left.

"Oh. Thanks." I reply distractedly as she approaches. I can feel the rhythm continuing to flood through me; it's a second surge of strength, forcing me into motion. To hell with tutoring; to hell with my examinations. Life isn't worthwhile without joy, and I'm embracing that now. My feet dart gracefully across the floor. My hips pivot, rock, and sway, and my hands flow in a languid, carefully measured pattern, in flawless synchrony with every movement of my body. My hair, dampened with sweat, several beads glinting in my peripheral vision, flutters around me as I dance. It's not a routine; it's my own world, my own creation, in which there are no distractions.

"Ano... Bonnie-san?" I briefly open my eyes; I only realize that I've closed them, that I'm moving by intuition alone, when I do. I don't halt my dance, though I allow my vision to focus upon Yori; I tailor the flow to allow me to afford her a bit of concentration.

"Yes?" I'm breathless, my voice deeper and huskier than I've ever heard it, but I can't halt.

"It's..." She seems flushed, as well, her features duskier with a mild flare of heat. In the midst of this stagnant warmth, I'm hardly astonished. She doesn't complete her sentence, simply gazing at me with a curious sense of longing. Is she that desperate to begin our lesson?

"Can you dance, Yori?" I'm too immersed in my rhythm to even bother with her honorific fixation.

"I... Sort of." Her reply is vaguely distracted. I notice that her eyes rarely meet mine; they seem to be rather preoccupied with every elegant undulation of my hips, every shift of my body in time with an unheard beat.

"Come on, then. You wanted to know what I like to do, didn't you?" I urge her, drifting nearer towards her. Perhaps it's an unusual demand, but there's nothing more glorious than dancing with a partner, experiencing that sense of joint focus, that seething, tumultuous rise and fall of emotions and energies as you clash and part with another. It's a wondrous, almost sensual duality. "This is one of the things I love." I pointedly pivot away from her, encouraging Yori to accompany me.

In an instant, there's the slightly jarring clatter of her weightier shoes upon the wood, and I turn again. She's not precisely in time with me; it's not an even remotely similar dance. It's fluid, exaggeratedly deliberate and concentrated, as if every gesture is willfully, rigidly choreographed.

"What're you doing?" I finally halt, my chest heaving, my lungs ablaze as I realize that it's such an agonizing ordeal to draw breath. I'm never hobbled by pain when I dance; it's seemingly a demonic pact, deferring every trace of discomfort until I stop, with every knifing measure of accumulated torment pouncing upon me.

"Dancing." She offers in explanation. It's astonishingly focused, her features rigidly set in an expression of almost exquisite intensity. As it evolves, it's uniquely feminine, pivoting her ankles, rolling her hips and abdomen as she rises and falls along with the fluid motions. I stand, rather entranced by such a completely exotic spectacle; I don't speak until she comes to rest, rising from a deliberately awkward crouch to her full height.

"What is that?"

"The dance that lured Amaterasu from her cave." She offers me what seems a remarkably wry smile, as if I'm to instantly grasp the innate significance of that. Her cheeks are flushed, and a fine veneer of sweat glistens upon her dark skin, but she doesn't seem breathless in the slightest; merely the quickened rise and fall of her chest presents any suggestion of difficulty. "Do you like it?"

"I do." I can't believe how sweltering it is within the confines of the gymnasium, how my drenched uniform clings to my perspiration-slick skin. My eyes lock with hers; they're slightly lidded, as if her dance is a source of the ecstasy that I also experience from it. "It's beautiful." We're alone; every word reverberates disorientingly, echoed and reflected, within the chamber.

"I'm glad. Yours is, too. I wish that I could dance like that. It's amazing how you pivot your hips, how you move." She approaches me as she speaks. It occurs to me that her hips sway with a languid, fluid grace as she walks, every step accentuated by the clack of her shoes. "Who taught you?"

"I... I taught myself that." I've studied dance at length, but that's the natural product of my own rhythm, my body's obedience to its own primal yearnings. I'm finally beginning to regain my breath, but there's something in her gaze that renders it a bit more difficult. It's a sense of absolute concentration, studying me as if I'm the sole object of her attention. "And you?"

"A friend." A mild smile quirks at her lips. "She's very talented, as well." It occurs to me that she doesn't halt until she's mere inches from me, warmth radiating from her sleek form in throbbing torrents. "Do you know the story of Amaterasu?"

"No." I've never studied Japan. "Why?"

"I just thought that you might be interested." Her smile widens; it seems vaguely suggestive. "Would you like to hear?"

"S-sure." I swallow sharply. Her gaze is slightly unnerving; I can feel my heart begin to beat more swiftly, my stomach gripped by a sudden, clenching heat.

"One day, the goddess Amaterasu became disgusted with Tsukuyomi's violence toward women, and shuttered herself in a cave." She begins with a practiced drama, as if she's recited- or been forced to recite- this legend with incredible regularity. "The world itself was starved of light, for Amaterasu was the sun goddess." She draws a languorous intake of breath, and I realize that she's drawn a bit nearer; her voice dips to a quiet whisper, damp and deep. I feel paralyzed, as if I'm simply pinned to this position. "The gods began to despair, until, one day, to lure her from her self-imposed exile, Ame-no-Uzume began to dance. It was erotic, inspiring the lustful shouts and cries of the other gods and goddesses," her tongue lightly darts across her lips, "And Amaterasu emerged, confronting her own beauty in a mirror." I've a glimpse of my own reflection in her eyes, dark and limpid.

"O-oh." I stammer dimly. I can't uproot myself, and I'm not certain if it's precisely my desire to do so.

"That dance is usually a striptease." Her smile widens into a distinctly predatory one, and I can feel her fingers lightly upon my shoulders; her eyes are heavily-lidded, impenetrably intense. "I thought that you'd enjoy it."

"W-" I'm interrupted by a sudden, electrifying warmth. Her mouth fastens upon mine, her eyes locked unwaveringly with my own, devouring my attention totally. It's momentarily chaste, her lips warm, moist, so staggeringly pliant as she kisses me. I realize that a quiet moan is rising into my throat as her tongue snakes languidly, unhurriedly against my own. It's a tantalizing caress, tender and slick, gliding and stroking with the utmost delicacy. I feel myself leaning forward, craving that seductive embrace all the more intensely, when it's suddenly ripped away from me; I jolt to attention again, dazed and disoriented, as if that had merely been a conjurer's illusion.

"Y-Yori?" I gasp, barely managing to force my mouth into motion as I grope for any coherent words amidst this sudden, misty bleariness. My heart throbs, pounding with a ferocious rhythm; my mind swims; my entire body is alight with an absolutely exquisite, straining hypersensitivity.

"Mmm..." She murmurs thoughtfully, her fingers rising from my shoulders to my cheeks; it's a playful, erotic stroke, a blissfully casual lover's caress.

"D-did you just kiss me?" It's bewilderingly idiotic, but I can't conjure any words; I'm not even certain if that moment even transpired, or if it simply boiled into my fevered imagination.

"I did." There's no ambiguity as to that as she approaches, her lips gliding away from mine at the final instant to brush across my cheeks, drifting to my ear. Her voice dips to a heated, smoldering whisper, her gently exotic inflection somehow deepening the intensity of it. "Did you like it?"

"Y-yes." It's not a secret to me. I may be unable to admit it to my 'friends', and certainly cannot to my family, but I've never had any doubt about my desires.

"Would you like me to kiss you again?" I reel at that, my knees quavering, virtually pitching against her in a fit of uncontrollable lust. I can feel that familiar heat, my insides melting as the aftermath of her kiss rakes across every nerve, boils through every inch of my body.

"Yes." I gasp, utterly unhesitatingly. "Please."

"I'm so glad, Bonnie-chan." A dark, lilting giggle, pregnant with such incredible promise; her lips fasten for a moment upon my earlobe, her tongue, delicate and warm, fluttering across it.

I can manage only an unintelligible whimper in reply, my hands quivering at my sides. She silences me with another kiss, this one infinitely firmer, fiercer, instantly deeper, her tongue immediately twining and sparring with mine. One of her palms lightly cups the nape of my neck, the other hand gliding languidly, inquisitively, along the length of my spine; it finally comes to rest upon my rear, and I jolt. My eyes widen, and hers spark with a rather mischievous humor, as if she's entertained by her own playful lechery. It's not as if I've never been groped, but I've never experienced such a diligent, delicate touch; I've never desired it so powerfully. I've never rocked yearningly into that caress, never felt my folds quiver at the gentle pressure of fingers along that curve, the admiring grasp of her hand.

"Call me Bonnie, all right?" I finally gasp as we part; her gaze immediately alights.

"You're forward, aren't you, Bonnie?" I can't believe how her voice deepens as she speaks that, as her hand continues its languorous exploration of my body through the fabric of my skirt. "So, you want to be my lover?" I don't quite perceive the connection with my name, but it's not as if I'm inclined to complain. My only response is to finally unfasten my hands, trembling faintly, from my hips, lifting them to the small of her back. It's her opportunity to be baffled as I tug her flushly against me, the startlingly generous, pliant heat of her breasts flattening against mine through the torturous layers of clothing dividing us. I kiss her, powerfully, insistently, virtually crushing my lips to her own; her eyes, heavily lidded, flutter closed, her fingers digging ferociously into my skin. Her other hand, with rather unrestrained and totally unrepentant lust, eases into the folds of my skirt, mischievously brushing along the very fringes of that yearning heat.

"I-I'm forward?" I gasp out, sensing the subtle shift of her enticing lips into another feline grin.

"You've done this before, haven't you?" I'm paralyzed again as her touch becomes bolder, the very peak of one slim digit gliding along that smoldering seam, igniting an unbearable welter of whimpering lust within me.

"What about you?" I can't resist the urge to retaliate, my hands snaking between us to ghost lightly, torturously along her abdomen, coming to rest upon the full swell of her chest. There's no reply beyond a gentle, keening moan, and I intensify the pressure, cupping the rather surprisingly pronounced weight, my palms slowly kneading that glorious softness.

"Mmm..." She delivers a ridiculously coy, sidelong gaze as she arches beneath my touch, her fingers sadistically abandoning that pining heat for a moment to latch upon my rear. I prepare to protest until she begins a severe, penetrating massage, the fine points of her fingernails piercing shallowly into my skin. "You're allowed to experiment in my country." This is an experiment?

I groan quietly, before capturing her lips in a ferocious kiss, my hands migrating to her shoulders, leaning into her and offering my body to her ministrations. It's wondrous, that sense of utter abandon, my heart throbbing, every nerve alight while she touches me. I've never experienced this; the few encounters have been awkward, anxious, tentative, my partners insecure and fragile. Always a tortured hesitance, struggling against some reservation; always a cruel, anguished silence as we would part. This is a genuine, searing desire, and Yori certainly isn't a fainting, trepiditious lily. I needn't contain myself, and I needn't feel the slightest kernel of doubt and insecurity; it's wondrous.

Emboldened, I allow my hands to drift to her waist, tugging her all the more intensely to me, relishing the supple, pliant warmth of her lips beneath mine; I adore the quiet, mewling whimpers and moans that I elicit from her with every caress of my tongue against hers, every suggestive brush of it across her mouth. It occurs to me, rather abruptly, as we part again, gasping for breath, that we're exposed in the midst of the gymnasium, consumed in a rather unambiguous embrace.

"Let's- let's go somewhere else, okay?" I pant, and another mischievous grin arises upon her lips.

"You have an idea, Bonnie?" She parts from me with a sadistic flourish, and it's an agonizing struggle to not simply pounce upon her as she retreats toward the locker rooms.

"The one that you have, I gather." It would be a mad sprint if I felt as if my legs could support me, though she nonetheless tugs me hastily to the doors, heaving them open and ushering me through the threshold. I'm relieved that we're alone, however eerie the distorted, hollow resonance of our whispers and footfalls upon the tiles seems in the midst of the muted, diffuse light that streams from the few incandescent lamps suspended overhead. In an instant, she pounces upon me again, pinning me against one of the lockers.

"G-god!" My eyes widen at the near-attack, and a brief, jarring jolt of pain streaks through my spine as she presses me against a lock, though it's relieved by the sudden welter of delight that flows from her uninhibited lips, the roving caress of her hands upon my body.

"Mmm... You know, I've been thinking of this all afternoon. I thought that I'd teach you something you might want to learn." She whispers darkly against my throat, pausing to speak in the midst of a lengthy, nipping litany of kisses across my fevered flesh.

"God..." I can only repeat inanely, supported by her startling strength, her hand gliding along my stomach, trailing playfully across my mound, before eliciting an immediate growl of complaint as it skirts that pleading core. I can't resist a rapturous gasp at the languorous, admiring caress upon the taut flesh of my thighs; I begin to tremble, overcome by the certainty that I'll simply melt into a tortured puddle of concentrated need if she continues to tease me. "Touch me."

"Maybe... If you beg." She murmurs throatily beside my ear, her breath, so deliciously sultry, fluttering across my heated skin.

"You-" I raise my hands to seize her, to claim what I desire from her; I realize, with a certain jarring epiphany, that I've been reversed, my eyes goggling at the sight of the dark-hued steel a mere inch from me. Both hands are locked behind me in her fierce grasp; her other hand glides languidly along my waist, flowing again between my thighs.

"I asked you to beg... I'm ordering you now, 'Nee-chan." Another unfamiliar... Term of endearment? Or, am I her servant? "Or, I could just tie you up and tease you until you can't take it any longer." Since when is she a disciplinarian? I remain rather defiantly silent; no one, particularly not some lecherous Japanese exchange student, will force me to beg. Her low, panting breaths stream across the nape of my neck, and I'm certain that I'll burst, feeling her fingers rise slowly beneath my skirt again. I begin to cry out in utter ecstasy, that delight transforming into utter fury as she again withdraws her caress; a low, lilting laugh escaping her lips, presently hovering beside my shoulder. "Beg, Bonnie. I can keep doing this-"

"All right!" I finally concede, my legs trembling, my entire body alight with a furious, shattering need. To hell with pride; this is a greater joy than some trivial victory over her. "Please, Yori. Please."

"Maybe..." If I could escape her savage grip, I'd pin her to the floor and torment her until she sobbed.

"Please! God, I'm begging you! Touch me! Touch me!" My voice rises, my near-shout resounding almost deafeningly amidst the silence.

There's no reply, and I'm prepared to begin howling at her when a molten current of pure, concentrated delight scours across every nerve. There's no gradual development, no slow, languid escalation to that touch; it's an immediate, concentrated plunge, her slender fingers easing into my panties, gliding into that hypersensitive dampness. One, and then a second, deliberately pressing to their fullest depth inside of me; I muster merely a silent scream, my mouth gaping, my eyes snapping open almost impossibly as she pleasures me.

"Oh... Oh, god. Oh..." I can finally whimper, my arms trembling, my hands limply bracing against the clammy steel of the locker door as she releases my wrists; I can't even begin to entertain the thought of reversing this utter control that she wields, and I'm hardly eager to bother. Hers is an expert touch, withdrawing nearly completely before returning in a fluid, gently-rolling stroke; her fingernails are trimmed upon those fingers, and I can perceive the delicate texture of the pads against my innermost walls. Her lips have returned to my ear, her other hand gleefully flowing beneath my shirt, grasping my breasts with a wanton intensity through the constraining sports bra. "F-fuck..." I can barely remain standing, though the thought of abandoning this for a comfortable seat is totally inconceivable.

"So naughty, little Bonnie..." She giggles, her teeth nipping lightly at my earlobe; she tugs gently, another lancing stream of delight arcing through me.

"I'm..." God, I can feel it building already, so swiftly, so severely. It's unbelievably intense when I've danced, that incredible, sensual awareness magnifying that sensation impossibly. My own touch, imagination supplying the image of my squad-mates' flesh and quiet gasps, can't even begin to compare; the inept groping of a few bi-curious students can't, either.

"Good..." She whispers hotly, her voice, deep and exotic, the final trigger for that incredible welter of ecstasy; I arch against her, my entire body alight with an electric rapture. I scream, irrepressibly, my resounding cries overshadowed by the thunder of blood pounding in my ears. I feel myself clenching around those slim, graceful digits, but she doesn't halt; she parts them lightly, but so powerfully, straining against that grasping heat, slowly twisting them within me in a level, deliberate motion. My eyes clench closed, and I shudder again, my entire body ablaze with another sudden, scalding orgasm that rends every nerve, that shatters any sense of restraint, awareness of anything but her touch, her presence.

"Yori!" I wail, bucking against her as she pumps her fingers inside of me; she's pressing me more forcefully against the locker, though I don't complain, complying with every unspoken command, illustrated with the flow of her body against mine, the achingly wondrous touch within me.

"You're so beautiful, Bonnie... I didn't think that you'd scream like that." She seems utterly delighted; I can barely concentrate upon her words, the wondrous caress of that sensual voice more incredible than the contents of her speech. "Come for me again, 'Nee-chan." That word again, though it's not as if I can resist. My chest heaves against her ferocious, kneading touch, and my thighs quiver around her hand as her fingers dart and glide within me. I can feel it rising again, her every touch coaxing a deeper ecstasy than I believed possible; I don't expect her to curl her fingers, angling them severely, plunging at even greater depth within me. I can only muster a silent scream, my legs truly failing me as an incredible release rips through me. She supports me effortlessly, her reflexes absolutely incredible, though I realize with a groaning frustration that her hand abandoned my breasts to fasten around my waist.

"Y-yori, I..." I manage, my voice hoarse and ragged, my throat blazing with the desperate intake of breath. "I came. Again."

"I know." She lowers me upon the rigid span of a wooden bench, her eyes alight with a captivating, sensual radiance as she admires me. I realize that one hand is resting upon my cheek, delicately cupping it; the other rises to my lips, and I don't hesitate for a moment in capturing her fingers, immediately confronting my familiar flavor as my tongue caresses those slim digits. I explore freely, longingly, determined to emphasize for her that I'm not simply a helpless, virginal creature, utterly slave to her whims. She doesn't stifle the low, keening moans that my ministrations yield, the slender curve of my tongue gliding across each in turn, lapping the distinctive, mild sweetness of my essence from her skin, from the sleek, well-groomed contours of her nails.

"You seem to love tasting me, 'Nee-chan. You want to taste something else?" She giggles, a luridly exaggerated innocence with her fingers between my lips; I can feel a longing tremor flit through me at that, and I nod avidly. I'm no longer so completely incapacitated, the paralytic, aching tension of my release beginning to ebb away gently; it's nonetheless overpoweringly glorious, dissolving rational thought and supplanting everything with an agonizing desire to take her, to savor her.

"God, yes." I growl as she withdraws those slim lengths, and raise myself with a sinuous, graceful motion to a seated position, peeling away the uniform top and taking firm hold of my sports bra, finally wresting away that onerous garment. I'm confronted with an immediate widening of Yori's already lewd grin, feeling the full weight of my breasts as that support evaporates.

"Wow, Bonnie. It is true what they say about American girls." Her eyes seem transfixed, and I can't resist a mildly narcissistic glance; they are substantial. Full, pendulous, my nipples agonizingly erect, a slightly darker shade rising from a delicate coffee-cream complexion. She doesn't bother pleading for permission, her hands immediately falling upon them; I instantly writhe against her caress, my spine arching as she cups them, caressing and stroking, rolling my nipples- a torturous sensitivity coruscating through them- between the fine pads of her thumbs and forefingers.

"Oh, my god..." I keen, my sight desperately fixed upon her touch; she begins to delicately roll them, before she begins to tug with a heightened force. "A-ah!" It's a shout; I'm never that rough with myself, though I can't deny how incredible it feels as she lightly twists them. "Yori, that-" It hurts, but there's an unbelievable, soaring, heart-rending rapture underpinning it. It's torturous joy, a sense of almost disconcertingly conflicted senses and emotions; I feel myself quivering, my chest blazing. "I-" I do, again, ferociously, tiny beads of tears prickling at the fringes of my eyes from that deliciously moderated pain.

It's inspired a furious swell of need, and I'm no longer so gentle with her; she seems startled by my pouncing lunge, taking hold of her shoulders and reversing our positions. She doesn't resist, however skillfully she probably could, as I press her onto the broad wooden slats of the bench; I'm perched atop her, my knees between her parted thighs, my eyes blazing into hers. "I'm going to fuck you, Yori, until you scream yourself hoarse." It's a sexual madness, and her smile widens further, if that's even remotely possible.

"Good." It's one word, a defiant challenge, and I answer it instantly with a crushing kiss to her yielding lips. Her tongue twines with mine, though she unleashes an adorably yipping squeak as I nip gently at it; I seize her wrists in my grasp, plundering her mouth, suckling at her tongue, savoring the slick, silken softness of that pink warmth. I'm not satisfied with merely these lips, however, and ease away, continuing to cling to her unresisting arms as I slowly, with deliberate, teasing cruelty, ease lower. I nip, suckle, caress, and tantalize, my lips brushing unrelenting, torturously chaste kisses across the willowy curvature of her throat, along the slim definition of her collarbone. I nuzzle the pliant, fragrant warmth of her breasts, her chest startlingly full, finally releasing her wrists to explore beneath her shirt.

I can perceive the softness of some form of supremely silken fabric beneath it, along with the satin heat of her skin, ablaze and slightly slick with a fine sheen of perspiration. I'm delighted to discover that I can simply ease my hands into her bra- there's no underwire, merely a mild elasticity binding it to her chest. Her breasts are fairly modest, but larger than I had expected, ample within my grasp; I deliver an experimental caress, feeling them fill my palms as I knead and stroke that lovely, pert flesh. My lips glide across the firmness of her stomach; it's remarkably powerful, finely-muscled and athletic, though the severe angles of her abdomen are sheathed within a feminine softness. The flicker of my tongue against her navel elicits a quiet giggle, swiftly transforming into a low growl of delight as my fingertips fasten upon her nipples.

"Y-yeah!" It's a glorious shout, low and keening; I'm delighted that I can finally force that from her, never mind the quiet groan of utter desolation as my hands abruptly abandon her lovely chest, stroking in the wake of my lips as I, at long last, approach that tantalizing heat. My eyes devour the image of her body, its sleek and lovely contours, as I finally arrive between her thighs. The warmth envelops me, and she raises her legs, the skirt falling towards her stomach to reveal the simple black fabric of her panties; I'd somehow expected something infinitely more lurid.

"So adorable..." I admire her, before lightly, teasingly brushing the very peak of my fingernail across the finely-defined swell of her lips through the material; it's a gratifying retribution, all the more magnificent as she wriggles and bucks, struggling to intensify the focus of my touch. "No, no, Yori; I think that I'm going to force you to be patient. Wouldn't you like that?"

"'Nee-chan, come on!" She whines breathlessly, that whimper dissolving into a low moan as my hands reverently glide along her inner thighs, the creamy, silken softness positively extraordinary. I simply shake my head, the fringes of my hair lightly rustling against her skin; it ignites a subtle tremor, intensifying as my lips finally grace that supple flesh with a delicate, grazing kiss. "Ah!"

"Mmm... I wonder how sweet you taste, Yori." I muse aloud, an unintelligible moan my sole reply. My tongue trails lightly, languorously, unhurriedly along her thighs, and her hands suddenly, impatiently, fall to my head. "I don't think so, Yori." I snap, delivering a brief, nipping bite to her thigh, my hands ferociously seizing her wrists. I may not be as swift a grappler as she is, but I don't believe that she's in any condition to be forcing me. "As much as I'd love to discover how Japanese girls taste, I've already gotten what I want... I could just stop." My only answer is the flaccid relaxion of her arms, and a low whimper.

"Good." I grin delightedly, and press my nose lightly to the gently-dampened fabric of her panties, blissfully savoring that delicate scent. It's heady, sweet, utterly, gloriously feminine; it's the fragrance of a goddess, and I, at long last, allow my tongue to deliver a slow, sweeping caress across the fine cotton. The reaction is immediate, and magnificent; she tenses, and I've a glimpse of her hands desperately clutching the bunched material of her skirt.

"P-please..." It's a harsh, slightly garbled plea, and I don't squander any time with unnecessary teasing; it would be masochistically deferring my own joy, as well. I ease my fingers into the elastic waistband, and slowly, reverently, begin to tug away her undergarments. I gradually expose the fine fringe of raven hair, silken and finely-curled, giving way to the subtle darkening of her flesh upon her lips; it's an electrifying sight, and I can't bother with this maddening gentleness any longer, forcing her panties to her knees. She lifts her legs vertically, jolting and shuffling to finally kick away the thoroughly onerous barrier, finally bearing herself totally to me. It's astounding; my fingers have begun to caress and explore of their own volition, tenderly stroking along the length of her entrance, savoring the satin softness.

"Ah... Bonnie... I... Oh..." Gasps, quavering moans, pleading whimpers; it's a sublime serenade as I lightly part her lips, revealing a majestic pinkness, glistening with a singular splendor.

I can't offer any words to even begin capturing the magnificence of that sight, so I don't bother, allowing my lips to flatter her in a boundlessly more joyous fashion. It begins with a gentle kiss, grazing and virtually chaste, along that smoldering heat; she quivers and mewls, and it's the most incredible experience that I've ever enjoyed. Another kiss, and another, across the full span of her opening, finally upon the pale pearl in delicate relief; she jolts immediately, and I can feel the strain within her as she struggles to not simply force me upon her.

"Mmm... Yori..." I can barely speak, my mind and thoughts totally devoured by the need to devour her, and I finally do; a light flicker of my tongue across her drenched folds, a brief taste of that transcendent ambrosia. "You're so sweet." She is; it's an almost honeyed splendor, and a single sampling certainly won't slake my thirst. I've merely done this once, but it's immediate, intuitive, burying myself against her as I open my mouth further, virtually swallowing her in its embracing, sultry heat; it's a damp, utterly wanton kiss, my tongue finally gliding shallowly inside of her, savoring that throbbing magnificence. She begins to moan in earnest, low, keening cries that spur me further; my tongue probes deeper, plunging in fluid, swift movements into her folds, gathering that singular sweetness with every stroke.

"Bonnie... Bonnie... You..." She's shivering, her thighs quaking beside my cheeks; a brief glance upward, abandoning that lovely, inflamed flesh for a moment, reveals her knuckles whitening in their death-grip upon her skirt.

"You can hold my hair." I encourage her, and she complies immediately; it's gentler than it had been previously, however, her fingers rapturously, enticingly gliding through my auburn tresses. She combs in languid, absentminded patterns as I resume my ministrations, lips and tongue exploring with renewed intensity. I know what she craves, what I do; my tongue finally rises from the quivering, swollen heat of her entrance to that throbbing bud. Her reaction is immediate, loosing an astonishing, yowling scream as my tongue glides in its full length across it, her fingers fisting in my hair; she's desperately crushing me against her, unable to restrain herself, and it's magnificent.

I embrace that utterly, fueling her lust, my own soaring with every instant as I taste her, touch her, caress her; I ease a finger inside of her, slowly and cautiously, and she begins to buck against me with an even greater, demanding intensity.

"Bonnie... You... I'm- I'm!" Her speech dissolves into a stream of incoherent Japanese as I feel her achieve that peak, forcing herself against me as she explodes, her thundering scream resounding gloriously through the echoing confines of the chamber. She pounds against my hand, rocks furiously against the laving caress of my tongue, claiming every touch that I offer with a rapturous torrent of shouts and wails. "'Nee-chan, I..."

"I want to make you come your brains out, Yori." I growl; I don't even realize that I've spoken until it occurs to me that that voice is mine, darkened with an absolutely incredible lust. I continue to taste her, relishing that delectable sweetness, that liquid joy that cascades from her, aided by the constant, probing stroke and encouraging flutter of my tongue. She erupts, again and again, and I adore it; the pressure of her hands is almost brutal, but I embrace that, the longing that I inspire in her.

"L-let me taste you." I realize that she's speaking as she suddenly presses me away from her. "I- I really, really want to. Please." She whimpers, her lilting, exotic voice strained with an extraordinary yearning.

As if I'd refuse that. "S-sure." My jaw aches slightly, but my mind and sight swim with a positively overwhelming lust and rapture; I can't even bear to consider halting. I ease away, rising to an awkward sitting position; she springs upon me in an instant, her arms enveloping me, her lips fervently latching upon me. Her tongue laps away every trace of her own flavor with such a tantalizing, sensual narcissism, allowing me to taste it upon anew as she kisses me again and again. I ease my hands beneath her shirt, peeling it away, along with that maddening brassier; she's finally bare, her pert breasts heaving with every gasping rise and fall of her chest. We embrace again, and I feel as if I'll dissolve from the heat enveloping me, her skin finally clasped to mine.

We rise, and she unfastens her skirt, stepping away from the pooling fabric as it tumbles to her feet; it's a bit more challenging for me, but the remains of my uniform are wrenched away in a few instants. She doesn't even afford me the opportunity to remove my shoes before she pounces again, her eyes heavily lidded, smoldering with an irresistible plea; she needn't even speak, her lips, her touch, her warmth the sole command that I require. We ease again to the bench, and I tug her atop me, our hands briefly interlacing as we kiss; that glorious heat, slick and blazing, brushes against my own; it's an instant, electric explosion of delight, and I realize that I can't bear to wait an instant further.

"T-taste me. Now. I- I can't wait." I can't; I've never experienced that particular ecstasy. There's no teasing grin, no knowing smile, no haughty commands; her lips part in a radiant smile, her cheeks flushed and her face gleaming with a delicate veneer of sweat. Her hair droops around her lovely features, a fine, silken curtain.

"Okay." It's a vaguely mindless chirp, an unnecessary, verbal affirmation of an already foregone conclusion; she pivots, bracing her knees around my face, and I'm overcome by an absolutely astounding delight when I realize what she intends. I can feel her breath already upon my bare thighs, quavering with anticipation, and I've a wondrous glimpse of the fine, taut, peach-like contours of her rear, that gentle cleft trailing towards the blazing core of her need. My lips fasten upon her, and a sudden, lancing spike of utter rapture pierces me, sending my mind reeling, as I finally feel her mouth upon me.

It's beyond description, beyond compare, the lovely, gentle, uncannily patient ministrations of her lips and tongue. I can feel her raven tresses rustle against my legs, raised and quaking, as she claims me, utterly irresistibly. It's a fluttering, deliberate, focused caress; it's a more skillful technique than I can muster, my own tongue flailing almost madly, fervently against her in the throes of such an incredible, all-consuming sensation. That slick, satin warmth expertly massages me, her fingertips delicately parting my lips to expose me utterly to her touch; it swirls across my clitoris, laving it, enveloping it, bathing it in a perpetual, ever-escalating warmth that's almost insufferable. I strive to emulate her, but there's little comparison, though she doesn't seem inclined to complain; I can feel her tremble, suddenly straining, her entire body jolting rigidly for an instant. Her touch also, excruciatingly, halts, but resumes with a renewed drive as I ease two fingers inside of her, pumping in swift, intense counterpoint to the flicker of my tongue.

Suddenly, a boiling pressure surrounds me, and I can't believe the overpowering, explosive delight that thunders through me, coruscating across every nerve, my brain dissolving for a moment as I come. She doesn't afford me a moment's pause, expertly channeling that height into an even more vertiginous, soaring peak, a second blazing orgasm washing across me in a mere instant as her fingers join the swift, almost savage lash of her tongue.

"Yori!" My voice is muffled against her folds, but she suddenly tenses again, and I realize why as she screams against me; the vibrations are incredible, trembling and rippling through my body. It's become a fervent, desperate exchange, the intensity of our ministrations rising and rising with every orgasm, struggling to overwhelm one another; it's the most incredible competition that I've ever experienced. My entire body feels as if it's ablaze, electrified, sparking with a savage delight that plucks at every nerve, that rips at every sense. It's almost insufferable, this ever-mounting magnificence, but I can't bear to halt it; I can't tolerate the thought of stopping for a single second.

It's finally her fingers within me, now pumping with total abandon, parting and twisting, that overwhelm me; the sensation is now nearly a torturous rawness, every nerve worn to its most achingly sensitive core, every touch seemingly against the most deeply primal and sensual core of my mind and soul. I finally, with an almost plaintive, anticlimactic, hoarse shout, collapse; I've the sense of being totally paralyzed, every inch of my flesh feverish, smoldering, slick with sweat. I deliver a few, final jolts of surrender against her, collapsing listlessly upon the bench. I'm panting, breathless, virtually hyperventilating; I notice with a certain gratification that her legs are quavering, whimpering with my parting caress, unleashing a quiet groan of a penultimate, shivering release.

The bench is rigid, utterly unaccommodating beneath me, but, in my weary, virtually bone-shattered state, it's a bed of pliant feathers. Yori eases from above me, reversing herself again to collapse weakly atop me. She's light, slender and delicate, nestling immediately against my throat; my arms feebly encircle her waist, my fingers interlacing at the small of her back.

"I won." She whispers, her voice gritty and hoarse from the screams that I tore from her with every surging, explosive orgasm.

"Hah." I manage with a similarly piteous tone. My glazed, disoriented smile of receding lust widens with a tender delight as her hands clasp upon my shoulders. The bench, fortuitously, is sufficiently broad to support us in even this embrace, though, in my unbalanced and exhausted state, I've the sense that the whole of the chamber is whirling berserkly around us. "Can't- can't you just admit that we both won?"

"Sure." It's a slightly drowsy reply as she gently nuzzles my cheek; it elicits a quiet giggle from me, however it galls at my ragged throat. A silent eternity progresses until she finally speaks again. "I'm glad that you're bad at math."

"Huh?" I realize that I've been blearily staring at the ceiling, allowing the textured tiles to totally occupy what remains of my capacity for concentration.

"If you weren't, we couldn't have done this." Another quiet laugh; I'd forgotten entirely that she's intended to be my tutor.

"That- that's true." I sigh, relishing the glorious warmth of our embrace, the sense of utter contentment with the world arising in the wake of our ebbing release. "I didn't think that my tutor would exactly be like this."

It's her opportunity to giggle. "What? You mean, you're not expected to experiment in America?"

Is she that oblivious? "No. I mean, I'm... I'm not experimenting. I really, really love girls."

"Good." It's a curiously satisfied, matter-of-fact affirmation. "So, it's not just S-phase for you?"

"Huh?"

"Shoujo-phase... Um, there's not that here? Where you're supposed to explore?"

"No." That seems an entertaining license for debauchery, though. "Is it for you?"

A slightly pregnant pause. "I think I'll decide after I've tutored you for awhile longer."