Oh, um... Well, this is rather long for my usual introduction, but then I'm hoping to achieve 3K with the chapters, so...

Disclaimer- I don't own Hiiro no Kakera!



The bus slid to a stop, and I fell forward, face-first into the seat in front of me. I pulled back, rubbing my pained nose lightly.

"Last stop..." I froze. Did I miss my stop? I grabbed my things and quickly got off of the bus. If I had, I could maybe stay at an inn or something until the bus returned tomorrow. I looked around, shocked to find myself in a rather rural area. A small sign notified me of where I was "Kifumura Village". It was most definitely not my stop. I stared at the sign for a long time, then sunk onto the bench.

"Oh noooo!" I complained melodramatically, "What do I do now?" I sat on the bench, sliding deep into thought. The village seemed to be one of those small places, and I doubted I would be able to find an inn to stay at. Maybe running away from home in the middle of the night hadn't been such a good idea. I pulled my map out of my pocket and folded my legs beneath me. Staring at the map, I realized my situation was much worse than I'd originally thought it to be. Kifumura Village wasn't on the map!

I stared up at the sky. It seemed to be about mid-morning, around time to start heading to school. It wouldn't be long before my parents discovered I was gone. I'd left my cell phone, figuring it would only serve as a means to help them find me. I would return when I felt like it. I leaned back into the bench and stared up at the sky lazily. I was such an idiot. My rashness and immaturity was bound to find me in some deep trouble eventually.

"Huh? Who are you?" a girlish voice asked. I looked up, leaving my immense hole of despair to see actual people around. I was saved. The girl was with four guys. I stood quickly, leaving my shame on the bench with my stuff. I could imagine my mother then, Have you no shame, Leiko!? I cringed at the thought.

"Hello! My name is Ikeda Leiko... Umm... I'm not really supposed to be here. I fell asleep on the bus," I laughed, rubbing the back of my head and feeling a raging heat at my cheeks. I had shame, if only a little. The entire group stared at me dumbfounded. Then the girl began to laugh. Her cheerfulness was contagious, but I held my composure.

"It's not that funny," I pointed out, folding my arms across my chest. I turned away from them as they all joined in her laughter. It was like being with a bunch of friends, I suddenly found myself wishing I knew them. I'd probably be happier surrounded by people like them than having to move around the world at the call of my father's boss. My dad could afford to cart us around, and he stayed in places in a time span ranging from a few months to years. In a way, I was taking a stand, running off like that, but I still shouldn't have done it. I waited in silence for them to grow tired of laughing at me.

"So, when does the next bus come?" I asked with a shy smile. The girl tapped her cheek in thought. Then she looked a bit nervous.

"Not until next week," she replied, giving me a sympathetic look. I stared at her in shock, feeling like crying. I was ready to go home at that very moment. I sunk to the ground with a groan. My life is over! Mom is going to wring my neck! I jumped up to my feet, pretending to recover. I smiled happily, placing my hands on my hips.

"Could one of me show me to town, please?" I asked. A boy with dark purple hair stepped forward. He was a bit taller than I, which made me feel incredibly short, since he was one of the shortest in the group. I was proud of my 160 centimeters in height! I smiled nervously.

"My name is Atori Mahiro," he told me coldly, "I'll show you to town." I stared at him for a long second then straightened.

"Thank you!" I replied, clapping my hands together. The rest had started to leave.

"Don't be too late," the girl said to him. She seemed to smile a lot. Very suspicious. The silvery white haired one turned and looked over his shoulder at Atori.

"I'll tell the teacher you're going to be a bit late," he said. Atori nodded, and I picked up my stuff quickly. I looked to him in surprise.

"Won't you get in trouble if you're late to class?" I asked, remembering the harsh punishments that usually befell me when I had been late to school. I was cleaning up the classroom almost everyday. I had a tendency to get in trouble, especially when it came to school. Atori looked at me then sighed.

"Not really, I'm usually there on time," he replied, placing his hands behind his head. He led me down a dirt path, and I hoped that I would be able to find a place to stay for a while until I could catch the next bus and return home. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten off of the bus... I wouldn't have had to pay the whole fare I would to return then. I was such an idiot! Baka, baka, baka neeeee! I stared at Atori's back as he led me.

"Thank you," I whispered, keeping my eyes on the ground as I said it. He hummed softly and his step faltered a bit, but we continued on in silence. I wondered if he thought I was strange. Only time would tell. At least if I ran into him again.

Leiko is very immature. :3 She refers to Mahiro as "Atori" because they aren't friends, but not to worry, they'll meet again very, very soon~ :D
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