Alright, so imagine an enormous city, and for simple imagination's sake, imagine it as 100 squares by 100 squares. You have a 10,000 square grid. Now, divide each 100 square by ten and then those ten squares by ten. Take the seventieth square in the fifth row of the seventieth square in fifth row of the main idea for example, and now imagine an apartment. It's about one-hundredth of that seventieth square in the fifth row of the seventieth square in the fifth row.
This apartment is not particularly special or extravagant, as it has only two different rooms total per room; the main room and the bathroom, but it worked out just fine for Rin, and it's what she called home. The small kitchen area in the complex sat in the middle of the front entrance and the bathroom. In front of the kitchen, separated by a counter, was the main room, where Rin did everything else. A Western styled bed was set almost completely up against the far right wall, which made space for a small kotatsu to sit in front of the porch. The porch was really more of a stepping area, as one couldn't actually stand out on it but open the sliding glass door just to look down. It apartment was small for a family, but for a single person like Rin, it was a mansion; and it was enough for her to be comfortable in.
"I'm home!" she called to no-one in particular, but her cat, Dandelion, and her dog, Poplar, who each greeted her cheerfully. She laughed as they both pounced on her and she said, "Hey guys, how are you doing?" They yipped in response and she smiled. Yes… This is home.
After taking care of Dandelion and Poplar, Rin plopped herself down at the computer, flipping it on and waiting patiently for it to load. It was still fairly new, a used computer that was only a year or so old, but it was still pretty slow.
As soon as it turned on a message popped up, "Rin-chan, go 2 chat now!1 – Yukimura"
She laughed and quickly logged into the chat room, TakedaArmy…
– Kazehaya has entered the Chat room –
CubofKai: Rin-Chan! sasuke and kasuga-chan are fighting again, help! ;_;
Kazehaya: Oh, another lover's spat? Even on the internet? You two must really care for each other…
Venus-tan: Lovers? please, Rin-chan, we are anything but lovers, especially when it comes to something like this! seriously sasuke, you do not, I repeat, not, eat your rice flooded with soy sauce! Not only is that plain nasty, but you could seriously have a heart condition later
Talon: Are you kidding me? The soy sauce is the best part! What do you think Rin-chan?
Kazehaya: oh well… To be honest… Rice and soy sauce sounds pretty nasty
Kazehaya: But, I've never really tried it before. If you bring some tomorrow, I'll try it out for you Sasuke-Kun, and then we'll talk.
Talon: Ha! Take that Kasuga-chaaaan!
Venus-tan: Ugh, you're all morons… I expected more of you, Rin-chan
Venus-tan: As you should be.
Talon: Hm, speaking of morons… Where did our Sanada Yukimura go? He's been quiet this whole convo
CubofKai: srry guys, Oyakata-sama was scolding me for not folding the laundry properly…
Kazehaya: so why do you insist on calling him "Oyakata-Sama" in the first place? It seems a little weird when you don't even live together...
CubofKai: -shrug- It just became a habit ^-^
Kazehaya: Ah, sorry guys, Poplar is begging for a walk right now. I'll see you tomorrow! .
CubofKai: bye, Rin-Chan ^^
Talon: And I won't forget the soy sauce tomorrow!
Venus-tan: You'll regret promising him to eat that you know, and for the record, if you die of a heart attack I'll be laughing… Yes… I will be laughing hard.
- Kazehaya has left the Chat room –
Rin smiled, those guys… She really had to love them. Yukimura has introduced her to Sasuke and Kasuga had been around at the time. They were compete opposites, Rin and Kasuga, yet Kasuga seemed to become especially fond of Rin and vice-versa. If anything, it was just nice to have a girl friend to rely on when times got rough.
It was something Rin didn't seem to have much of back in her old school...
Putting it out of her head though, Rin swung around in her chair. She called (even though there was really no need), "Alright Poplar, time to go— damn it Poplar, really?" She froze when she saw Poplar's mess and he seemed to laugh, 'Well, it's your fault for taking so long.'
Rin sighed, "Alright, I see what you mean… Let's just clean it up and go." Sometimes she really wished she didn't have a dog, they can be such demanding pests sometimes…
"Oi! Rin! Rin!" And speaking of demanding pests. Rin groaned as she turned to see who it was. Yup, definitely who she thought it was. She continued walking without stopping, and Date panted when he finally caught up to her. "Honestly Rin, you're trying way too hard ignoring me."
A vein popped in Rin's forehead as she replied moodily, "And you're trying way too hard catching up with me."
Masamune thought about it for a second and then laughed, "Yeah, I guess you're right there."
Rin couldn't help but smile but when she looked at him, she sighed. "So where do you get off, thinking you can get away without wearing your tie like that?"
He glanced down and then laughed, "Whoops, guess I forgot it today." Masamune normally seemed very casual about his appearance, but it was a first for him to actually not wear his tie. The school uniform wasn't out of the ordinary in terms of uniforms; the main color was black with a choice of red or black ties and a white collared shirt, and this applied to both genders. Many of the boys though, wore a colored t-shirt or undershirt underneath the white collared shirt, the color in accordance to what area of the city wore. In fact, many boys, like Masamune, kept their white collared shirt unbuttoned slightly just to show off their colors. It had something to do with how the city system worked, something that Rin never took an interest in understanding.
Rin rolled her eyes, "Yeah right. That might have worked during the first week of school, but it doesn't now that it's been six weeks. So what really happened?"
He shrugged, "It must've gotten mixed up in my sock drawer. Though if you really want to know, I just don't want to be the same sort of clone Oda Nobunaga wants me to be."
"Oda… Nobunaga?" Rin asked slowly.
They stopped as Masamune stared at her, "You don't know who Oda Nobunaga is?" He asked incredulously. Rin shook her head and he laughed, "You know, for a student with a scholarship, you'd expect her to at least know the principal. Do you know who the vice principal is at least?"
"No," Rin said, feeling somewhat embarrassed. He was right, she should know these people, and yet, she didn't. Maybe it's a country girl thing. To be honest, the scholarships were applied and awarded by through the school's website. Students didn't even need to meet the staff to get in. Rin found it suspicious at first, but considering that this was the top-ranking school in all of Japan, maybe the school didn't care who they accepted, so long as the student brought honor to the name.
"Akechi Mitsuhide…" Date trailed off and Rin looked at him. Why does he seem so nostalgic all of a sudden? Rin cocked her head to look at him from the side and he suddenly snapped his attention back to her. He grinned and said, "You'd better do your research on these guys, Country Girl, before I overthrow them!"
"Heh?" Rin asked, "Overthrow them?" What was this, feudal Japan? The hell was this one-eyed jerk talking about...
"Yup! If I can manage to make Oda Nobunaga look really bad, the school board will remove him and anyone else who appears if I work hard enough. Then, sooner or later I'll be able to become principal." Masamune said it with a smug sort of air, as if he'd already done the task.
Rin was confused. She asked, "What? But that's not possible, you're a student."
"Yeah, but my father was the original founder of this school, so technically I could be the principal if I really wanted."
"Not with your grades…" Rin muttered.
"Ouch, that was harsh." Date said with a grin and Rin blushed. Oops, he heard.
She laughed but when Masamune looked at her and smiled, she blushed. "Wh-what? You're staring at me and it's creeping me out; is something on my face?"
"No, just thinking that you're pretty cute when you smile and laugh like that… I suppose even country girls have their charm."
Rin's face turned redder as she stormed off, "Yeah, yeah, let's just get to class you jerk!"
"You're also cute when you're angry, you know!"
She yelled over her shoulder and started running, "Shut up!"
Masamune only laughed and trailed behind her.
"Furthermore, ice is an important property to humans," Uesugi Kenshin concluded, "And it has a multitude of different uses."
"I don't see why Kasuga-chan likes this guy so much…" Sasuke grumbled beside Rin, "He seems like a total fruit head to me."
"Sarutobi-kun, would you like to do the next problem? Page 135, please." Uesugi smiled his infamously polite "interrupt-my-class-again-and-I-will-end-you" smile as Sasuke reddened and flipped through his text book quickly.
"Sure, um…" Rin covered her mouth to stifle her snicker as he shot a sideways glare at her.
"Very good Sarutobi-kun," Kenshin smiled again, "Now the next problem, who would like to do that?"
The rest of the morning went by sluggishly… And at some point Rin found her eyes wandering to the back of Masamune's head. She couldn't help but stare; even from behind, he was pretty damn hot.
Suddenly he turned around to reply to someone behind him and their eyes met. Oh shit. His eye held hers for a moment and he winked. Rin blushed furiously and glared right back, quickly hiding her face with her text book as she waited for the heat in her cheeks to die down.
She could only imagine what he was thinking right now. She sighed, how embarrassing.
"Alright class, time for lunch," the substitute-home teacher said dismissively.
Rin got up to stretch as Sasuke put his books away. Yukimura walked over to join them and Rin asked, "I'm going to go buy some tea, do you guys want anything?"
"Tomato juice!" Sasuke said immediately, grinning widely and Yukimura smiled.
"A bun would be nice, do you want me to come with?"
Rin smiled brightly and said, "Nah, that's okay. I'll be back in a few minutes."
... Or would she?
Rin wondered as she looked down one hall and then another, trying to remember which way to go. The closest vending machine should be in the D-hall on the second floor, right? So where the hell was that?
"Huh?" Someone tapped Rin on the shoulder and she turned to see who it was. "Oh, Kotaro-kun, what's up?" Rin slowed down as the silent boy caught up to her. He shrugged and she smiled, "Are you getting food from the vending machines as well?"
He nodded, 'yes.'
"Great, can you show me where they are? I always seem to get lost…" He nodded again and she laughed.
"Alright then… I've got my tea, but Sasuke-kun wants tomato juice and Yukimura-kun wants bread… Hm… He never said what kind of bread though…" Rin tapped her chin thoughtfully.
Tap, tap. Kotaro tapped her shoulder again to get her attention and pointed to one of the buttons.
"Oh? Yukimura-kun likes red bean paste buns?" He nodded his head, "Thanks Kotaro-kun, you're really helpful." He smiled and Rin paid for the items. "So how is Hojou-sensei? I hear he's retiring soon."
They started walking back to where they came from when Kotaro held out a hand and shook it side to side, 'so-and-so.' He mimicked a sort of bent over stoop and grimaced as if he were in pain and Rin laughed.
"Hee hee, oh, I see. By the way, would you like to join me for lunch? I know I haven't spoken to you much in class, but Sasuke-kun and Yukimura-kun and I all eat there, so if you wanted to join, you could. Kasuga-chan likes to visit too."
Kotaro smiled but shook his head 'no' and shrugged, "Going to see Hojou-sensei?" Rin translated and he nodded. He held out his left hand tapped the top of each finger, "Maybe some other day, right?" she asked.
He nodded his head.
Many people found communication with Kotarou difficult, as he never spoke and you could never tell what he was thinking or where he was looking because his bangs covered his eyes, but Rin always found talking to him enjoyable. She'd had plenty of practice and experience "translating" the messages of a quiet person from home. Her younger sister, actually.
"Okay then, I guess we part here. It was nice talking with you Kotaro-kun!" Rin waved and Kotaro smiled back in his serene sort of way, what a sweet guy. Rin thought cheerfully. He may not speak to anyone, and tends to isolate himself, but he really is a sweet heart. I hope we can be better friends soon.
Rin was practically skipping as she went up the stairs when, "Oof!" Something hit her and she fell backwards. Shit! Her foot slipped on one of the steps and she was falling backwards when suddenly a hand reached out and grabbed her wrist in time, pulling her back to safety. The tomato juice can fell with a clatter a few steps down and Rin mentally hit herself for dropping Yukimura's bun as well.
But never mind that, "Oi, sorry about that. Are you okay?" asked a voice as Rin blinked a few times in confusion.
"Ah, yeah, I think so. Thank-" Rin looked up.
To see Date Masamune.
And they were surprisingly close.
Her face turned bright red and she turned to face him and pushing against his chest to try and squirm away. "Hey, what's your hurry?" Masamune asked with a grin as he tightened his hold around her.
"N-nothing! I have to get back to class!" Rin stuttered and Masamune laughed at her embarrassment but still wouldn't let go. Rin sighed as she calmed down and said, "Now please let me go, Date."
"Not until you give me a thank you kiss," Masamune's grin widened as he teased her and her face got even redder.
"Just let go," she mumbled. "We're attracting people…" Even though she hated it, it was true that they had attracted a small crowd of people and Rin could feel the jealousy and hatred emanate from Date's "fan group" as she shrunk against him, trying to hide herself as well as possible without pushing herself too closely to him.
Date seemed to pull her in closer and as Rin struggled she could have sworn he murmured, "Don't worry about them, Rin… I'll protect you."
Rin blinked in surprise, stopping herself and not believing what she'd heard. She started to say, "What did you just-?"
"Rin-chan! I'm glad I found you!" called a voice. Rin looked past Masamune to see Yukimura who was walking down the stairs, "We've been waiting for you, where have you been?"
He seemed to ignore Masamune and Rin was finally able to escape his clutches when he turned his attention to the other boy. She bent down to pick up the red bean paste bun and then hopped the few steps down for the tomato juice she had dropped, looking up towards Yukimura from the tops of her eyes. It was so strange, she had never seen Yukimura so serious, and for the most part, neither Masamune.
"Ah, Sanada Yukimura. It's been awhile since we've come face-to-face, you doing okay?" Masamune grinned cockily as Yukimura glared.
"I'm fine, thanks. Just came to save innocent girls from your hands."
Masamune laughed and shrugged, "How noble of you. Guess it ends here though. See you later, Rin, Sanada Yukimura." He shoved his hands in pockets and walked the other way and Rin sighed. She would definitely be hearing about this again later that afternoon.
"Ah, thanks Yukimura-kun," she said quickly as she joined him at the top of the stairs and the crowd began to disperse.
"No problem," he said cheerfully. They continued on together down the hall as Rin rubbed her temple with her right hand. Yup, she would definitely get an earful from Date today.
"Hey, Rin-chan, what took you so long?" Sasuke called from his desk and he and Kasuga turned to face their approaching friends.
Rin tossed the tomato juice can to him and he caught it with a quick word of 'thanks' as she said with a sigh, "Sorry, I, ah… Got a little lost, that's all."
"Hm, still getting lost, huh?" Sasuke asked, grinning and Rin smiled wearily.
"I suppose so…" she glanced at Yukimura who had quietly opened his bean paste bun and he sent a quick glance at her before looking away. How odd…
"Anyway," Sasuke said with a grin and pulling a bottle of soy out, "I brought my soy sauce today, so now you can try-What the hell…?" He blinked a few times at the empty bottle and then groaned, digging through his bag and face palming. "Damn it."
"What happened?" Kasuga asked, not really concerned in the least.
Sasuke sighed sadly as he stood up and said, "The stupid bottle broke and the soy sauce leaked into my bag so now the whole thing reeks. I'll be right back, and- hey, stop laughing!"
After a shared look between Kasuga, Rin and Yukimura, they all burst out laughing as Sasuke watched them despairingly before joining in. Finally, with a collective sigh Sasuke said, "Alright you jerks, see you later."
"Serves you right!" Kasuga called after him and Rin laughed again, forgetting about her previous encounter with a certain one-eyed boy.
Unfortunately, she was reminded of it as soon as said boy approached her desk as school ended, later that day. Ah, how bliss was fleeting in her life. She shoved her textbooks in her bag quickly as he stood by her desk and said calmly, "Hey."
"H-hello," she mumbled, fumbling with the buckle on her bag. She stood up and started walking towards the door and he followed silently.
Outside the sun was still shining brightly but Rin felt somewhat cold as she walked beside Date, who was still uncharacteristically quiet.
Unable to take the silence anymore, Rin spoke up. "Date," she said quietly, unsure of what to say. He stopped walking but didn't turn around to face her. "Are you-...?" she started and then stopped. No, that sounded too caring. "Is something-...?" she tried again, stopping for a second time at the thought of sounding too concerned for his well-being. She tried one more time. Third time's the charm; she asked in a monotone voice, "Date, you don't seem yourself."
He was silent for a second, seemingly staring ahead at some invisible sight. "Why do you hang out with guys like him?" he finally asked.
"Eh?" Rin quirked an eyebrow questioningly. "Guys like who?"
He turned his head only slightly to look at her out of the corner of his left eye and clarified, "Sanada Yukimura."
"Well…" Rin paused as she thought about it, and then said slowly, "I guess... Because he's a nice guy. That's all, why?"
He shrugged and started walking away, "No reason."
Rin didn't follow him right away as she thought about what he said, but suddenly it hit her. She jogged to catch up with Date and stopped in front of him, spreading her arms out and grinning somewhat smugly, "You wouldn't, by some chance, be jealous Date, would you?"
He looked at her blankly before shrugging and smiling nonchalantly, "And what if I am?"
"Well, here I thought all you wanted was to sleep with me." She sighed mockingly and said almost false wonder, "So, the renowned player Date Masamune actually has feelings that exist outside of bed. Does that mean you have a crush on me or something?" Rin asked with a grin and poking into his cheek lightly, trying to provoke him.
"I wouldn't call it something as petty as that," he said calmly, unperturbed by her. Then he smirked as he grabbed her hand and pulled her in close to him. He said, "Though I suppose it's something similar. You were closer when you said I wanted to sleep with you."
He leaned in so their foreheads were touching and Rin blinked a few times, this time the one caught off guard, as Date stared at her calmly. They stared at each other for a moment and Rin finally pushed herself away, turning so he wouldn't see her face flushing as she mumbled, "And what the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"It means," Masamune said, walking behind her and saying into her ear, "That I like you, Rin-chan." He grinned as her face deepened visibly and he continued walking his way home, his words echoing throughout Rin's head the whole way there.
A/N: Oh my lawd, this series got popular so quickly. lol. Ahh, I don't have much to say for this chapter...
I had fun thinking up chat names for the characters here. I kind of just used the names used in Devil Kings, the first American dub of the BASASRA video game series which I absolutely love with a passion, but also despise because they changed all the names of the characters and pretty much removed any Japanese historical references, but anyway, I want to do more "chat room" scenes in the future, so hopefully I'll get there.
So, thanks so much for all the support and I hope I make it to the next chapter. It's somewhat questionable. -dies-
(The names "Dandelion" and "Poplar" refers to the main character Tanpopo from Imadoki! and her pet fox Poplar. I thought the names were cute and decided to use them... He...)